The following is the letter from Rep. Connie Mack sent to former Rep. Joe Kennedy, provided by Mack's office.

Dear Congressman Kennedy:

Venezuela's Communist President Hugo Chavez is a sworn enemy of the United States. That is why there is absolutely no excuse for you to be praising him in television commercials and media interviews for any reason whatsoever.

More than forty years ago, your uncle, President John F. Kennedy, spoke about the perils of communism in the Western Hemisphere and the threats posed by Fidel Castro, saying, "We and our Latin friends will have to face the fact that we cannot postpone any longer the real issue of survival of freedom in this hemisphere itself."

Those words still ring true today.

Hugo Chavez is providing your company "low cost heating oil" not to help the American people, but rather to exploit his apologists in the name of public relations. Sadly, you have chosen to actively participate in his charade, even as he continues to attack the United States, our leaders, and freedom-loving people everywhere.

While you have gone out of your way to publicly praise Hugo Chavez, he's gone out of his way to crush the hopes and dreams of the Venezuelan people and to destabilize freedom, democracy, and the United States interests throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The United States has always stood toe-to-toe against tyrants and thugs, and we always will. I urge you to stop airing television ads and participating in activities that praise Hugo Chavez, and apologize for your defense of this very dangerous dictator.

Millions of Americans understand that Hugo Chavez is the most dangerous man in the Western Hemisphere. As a former member of Congress, you should too.

Sincerely,

Connie Mack
Member of Congress