Venezuela's Chavez says Gaddafi still Libya's leader

CARACAS Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:06pm EDT

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez smiles while holding a gold ingot after signing a decree for the nationalization of the gold mining industry, at Miraflores Palace in Caracas August 23, 2011. REUTERS/Miraflores Palace/Handout

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez smiles while holding a gold ingot after signing a decree for the nationalization of the gold mining industry, at Miraflores Palace in Caracas August 23, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Miraflores Palace/Handout

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CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday he will only recognize a Libyan government led by his friend and ally Muammar Gaddafi and accused the United States of inciting the country's civil war.

Chavez, who has been the most vocal world leader to support Gaddafi, accused Western powers of riding roughshod over international law by backing Libya's rebels in their revolt.

"This is kicking, spitting ... on the most basic elements of international law," he said. "Where are the international rights? This is like the caveman era."

Venezuela's socialist leader spoke after rebels overran Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli in what appeared to be the end of his 42-year rule.

During six months of civil war more than 30 countries, including the United States and major European Union countries, have moved to recognize the rebel National Transitional Council as the governing authority in Libya.

"Now (President Barack) Obama said he will collaborate economically with the new government, which of course we do not recognize," Chavez said.

"We only recognize one government, the one led by Muammar Gaddafi," he said to applause as he presided over a cabinet meeting broadcast live on state TV.

The 57-year-old former soldier has repeatedly accused Western powers of fueling the conflict to steal Libya's oil and on Tuesday said they were waging a "dogs' war."

"It's harsh but true ... They arranged this war," Chavez said, referring to the United States.

"They provided the arms, the mercenaries. They better not attempt to apply the Libyan formula to Venezuela or we'll have to show them our power."

Both Chavez and Gaddafi are military men who cast themselves as anti-imperialist revolutionaries and forged a friendship during half a dozen encounters in the past decade.

They have enjoyed a long-standing alliance based on left-wing economic ideas, antagonistic relations with the United States, and their countries' membership in OPEC.

Chavez studied Gaddafi's "Green Book" outlining his political philosophy while in the army, and both men have given each other numerous gifts and awards.

Back in March, the Venezuelan leader proposed a vague peace plan for Libya that received little support from either side.

Some media reports have suggested Gaddafi, whose whereabouts remain unknown, could seek asylum in Venezuela but Chavez made no reference to that.

(Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bill Trott)

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Comments (2)
JamVee wrote:
That Chavez, he really knows how to pick a winner!

Aug 23, 2011 4:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bobwsnt1 wrote:
I would also like to agree with the Venezeulas’ Chavez on the subject of Gaddafi running the country it is the only way to keep the Prince from running it and who knows what will happen then.i would rather see him run it than the nation asking for foreign aid from some newly appointed representative.That supposedly gets voted in and then doesn’t have a clue because they just throw everything on his lap.If anything were to happen to that area there is going to be a major revolt by the people and by the old government.I really mean to say is that does anyone know why they started shooting?Wasn’t it over a property dispute. And if so who cares. Let the shells drop.It’s the only thing you can do now your going to inprison a group again.I’ll I got to say is that you better not be accountable United States for a mistake that you can’t handle.You better hope that another supposed war criminal doesn’t walk out of the custody of the supreme council and look at you.Times may be tough but you are about to open a big worm and alot of his followers and others may have had enough.Look back what happened to the Genova Council? Cancelled do to not being able to pay someone back for destroying thier country.Again.Give up before someone steps in.U.S you are not even close to being the big kids on the block, Hate to burst your bubble.

P.S. coming to visit Chavez,better yet send an invitation regardless of the date.

Jorges

Aug 28, 2011 4:20am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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