This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," October 30, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HEATHER NAUERT, CO-HOST: It's the big outrage tonight. Hugo Chavez can now add supermodels to his list of celebrity buddies. The Venezuelan leader met privately with controversial cat-walker Naomi Campbell yesterday at his presidential palace.
JOHN GIBSON, CO-HOST: Before the meeting, Campbell said little about what they would discuss, but she did tell reporters she wasn't going to be political and she commented on Venezuela's beautiful water falls. The sexy supermodel is just one in a series of Hollywood stars rubbing elbows with Chavez. Actors Kevin Spacey, Sean Penn and Danny Glover have all been recent guests of Chavez, but what could Naomi Campbell and Hugo Chavez be talking about? With us now, former Miss Venezuela Maria Conchita Alonso. So what is the deal? Why is Chavez luring these American celebrities down there? What's the point?
MARIA CONCHITA ALONSO, FORMER MISS VENEZUELA: Well, the point is — first of all, I want to say just by being there, that is a political statement. She doesn't have to say anything. Just being there with him says that she agrees with what is going on. I'm sorry. I'm in such a — I'm so angry right now that I'm trying to control myself, because his point is to grab these ignorant people, really, that have no idea what is going on right now in the country, to have them as his allies to show the world that he is a good man. You know? And right now in December, the elections for the new constitution are coming. The whole country is against it. They have changed — they are creating, I wouldn't say change, 32 new amendments to the constitution, and one of them is like for the country to be able — for the president to be able to be elected once and once and over-and-over-and-over again.
GIBSON: Ms. Alonso, who is being fooled? Do you think Venezuelans are being fooled because Naomi Campbell, a supermodel not known for being brilliant, is down there rubbing elbows with Chavez?
ALONSO: Oh no. Venezuelans are not being fooled, you guys here are being fooled, the whole world is being fooled. We know exactly what's going on over there and I have no idea why the press in this country or the majority of the press in this country does not write down the truth of what's going on. Last week, we have a huge march that the students organized, but not all the students went into the march. Hundreds of thousands of people against the constitution. A constitution that is going to take away your private — how do you say that?
GIBSON: Individual freedoms. But look here, Chavez suckers another star to come to Venezuela. Why do these stars fall for it?
ALONSO: Well, you know, I don't want to say exactly — maybe money talks. I don't know.
GIBSON: Are they being paid?
ALONSO: I don't know. A few of them, yes. Others, no. I don't want to say this person has been paid because we don't know that. I wait for them to say it over there in the press or a radio station, for then me to say it. But I just don't — or publicity. I have no idea. Do they know that he is creating two factories where they're going to do AK-47 assault rifles, where they are going to start making it over there? I don't think they know that. I don't think that in the new constitution they know that the children below 18 years old are going to be owned by the government. They don't know that. In a country that exports gas, oil, one of the biggest in the world. For people to have a hard time finding gas themselves in the gas stations. A country that doesn't have rice, milk, sugar, eggs. I just can't understand it.
NAUERT: Maria Conchita Alonso, we're going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much.
GIBSON: He called President Bush crazy, but something Dennis Kucinich said at last night's debate leads me to believe that he might be the one who is actually crazy. My word coming up on THE BIG STORY.
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