Update: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Blasts Obama's Hugo Chavez Comment

Earlier today news broke that President Barack Obama does not consider Venezuelan Communist strongman Hugo Chavez a "serious" national security threat. Chavez has crushed internal dissent and aligned his country, which was once a US ally, with the likes of Iran and the Castro regime in Cuba, and international drug ring/terrorist army Hizballah, which law enforcement believes operates in Venezuela and on the US-Mexico border.

Via the Romney campaign, Florida Rep. Ilean Ros-Lehtinen has released a statement condemning Obama's remark and questioning his "blindness" to threats close to home.

“When President Obama says that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has not had ‘a serious national security impact on us,’ as he did in a TV interview, he demonstrated why we need a change in the White House and why Mitt Romney will provide the leadership, the determination, the steely resolve that is needed to face the challenges of our hemisphere," the Florida Republican says in her statement. "The President appears to be blithely unaware of Chavez’s hatred for our nation, including his efforts to promote anti-American regimes across the Western Hemisphere undermining our foreign and security policies.

“Chavez has rolled out the red carpet to the Iranians and their nefarious schemes in our hemisphere, permitting Iranian proxies such as Hezbollah to gain a foothold in the region. Chavez also supports the Syrian regime with shipments of diesel and oil that have allowed Assad to continue murdering his people. As if all this weren’t enough to cause concern among our policy makers, Chavez’ ties to drug kingpins and narco-terrorists across Latin America are a direct threat to our nation and to our democratic allies.

“In Chavez we have a dictator who has systematically crushed democracy within his own country trying to install a totalitarian state like the one led by his close allies the Castro brothers. I would ask the President that if these actions do not constitute a threat to our national security, then what does? We can’t afford four more years of a President who is blind to a major threat in our own hemisphere. While Obama fiddles, our region is set on fire by the enemies of the U.S.”

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, the most senior Republican woman in the US House of Representatives, was born in Havana, Cuba. Her family left the country to escape the Communist Castro regime n 1959.