World leaders, U.S. political heavyweights react to unrest in Libya
Updated 6:04 p.m.:
The violent uprising in Libya has produced more than a few reactions from current and former world leaders as well as political heavyweights, some of whom are considering a 2012 presidential bid. We'll be collecting reactions here as we get them.
President Obama spoke out against the violence in Libya Wednesday, calling the bloodshed in the North African nation "outrageous" and "unacceptable" and saying he has asked his administration to "prepare a full range of options" to respond to the crisis.
The Post's Felicia Sonmez collected reaction from members of congress Wednesday, denouncing Gaddafi and condemning the violence.
The Associated Press reports that Russian president Dimitri Medvedev said the following in televised comments Tuesday:
These states are difficult, and it is quite probable that hard times are ahead, including the arrival at power of fanatics. This will mean fires for decades and the spread of extremism.
AP also reports that former Cuban leader Fidel Castro urged caution Tuesday, saying, "You can agree or not with Gaddafi. The world has been invaded by all sorts of news ... We have to wait the necessary time to know with rigor how much is fact or lie." Castro also said the unrest may serve as pretext for a NATO invasion. In contrast to Castro, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has remained quiet on the issue, while the Bolivian government released a statement expressing concern for "the regrettable loss of many lives."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to reporters' questions Tuesday. During her opening remarks she called the "bloodshed completely unacceptable." In response to one reporter's question, however, Clinton was a bit more forceful:
I think that the message today is very clear and unambiguous from the entire international community: There is no ambivalence, there is no doubt in anyone's mind, that the violence must stop and that the government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of all of its citizens and to support the exercise of those rights.
Clinton was online Wednesday to field questions from Egyptian youths.
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin also posted to her Facebook pageTuesday evening, criticizing the Obama administration's response to the crisis:
It's a little perplexing looking at the White House today. There was a statement on the horrible earthquake in New Zealand, and certainly our hearts go out to all those affected by this horrible natural disaster. But nothing on the slaughter in Libya?
Palin went on to write that Gaddafi was "a brutal killer" and that he was "Osama before Osama hit the scene."
Staff writers Melissa Bell and Sam Sanders contributed to this post.
| February 23, 2011; 11:22 AM ET
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