Many indigenous Venezuelan tribe members rallied in support of U.S.-based missionaries threatened with explusion by President Hugo Chavez.

New Tribes Mission was accused by Chavez as exploiting the tribal people and spying for the CIA. The mission organization has denied all of these accusations and appear to have the support of the supposed “exploited” people.

I think it is telling that the ordinary people who are impacted by the missionaries are supportive of them, while governmental officials removed from the situations are the ones seeking to expel New Tribes Mission.

Of course, being the AP, the reporter goes on to breathlessly report about all the good that Chavez has done the indigenous people. One question though, if Chavez has provided so much for these people why do they rush to defend the Christian missionaries? It seems the people see the missionaries are actually the ones bringing the medicine, the education and the supplies not the government.