Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday night defended the alleged terrorist mastermind Carlos the Jackal, saying the Venezuelan imprisoned in France was an important "revolutionary fighter" who supported the cause of the Palestinians.
The Venezuelan president praised Carlos - whose real name is Ilich Sanchez Ramirez - during a speech Friday night saying: "I defend him. It doesn't matter to me what they say tomorrow in Europe."
Ramirez gained international notoriety during the 1970s and 80s as the alleged mastermind of a series of bombings, killings and hostage dramas. He is serving a life sentence in France for the 1975 murders of two French secret agents and an alleged informant.
"They accuse him of being a terrorist, but Carlos really was a revolutionary fighter," Chavez said during a televised speech to socialist politicians from various countries, who applauded.