Wiesenthal Center calls for action by Venezuela to improve relations

chavez 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
chavez 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
A leading anti-Semitism watchdog group said Thursday that a meeting between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Jewish leaders is a positive step but that the government must take concrete action to improve relations. The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center was reacting to a meeting Wednesday between Chavez and leaders of the World Jewish Congress, who said later that the president pledged to work together against anti-Semitism. "This is a first step in a correct direction, but that can't erase what has happened in the past few years," Sergio Widder, the center's representative for Latin America, said by telephone from Argentina. His organization is urging Venezuela to investigate two police raids on a Jewish community center in Caracas, and also act against its ambassador in Russia for remarks the group says were anti-Semitic.