February 21, 2008 / 7:56 PM / 11 years ago

Venezuela's Chavez does not recognize Kosovo

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela will not recognize Kosovo as an independent republic, socialist President Hugo Chavez said on Thursday, saying the Balkan state’s separation from Serbia last week was a sign of U.S. interference.

Chavez, an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, said Kosovo’s independence set a dangerous precedent.

“This cannot be accepted, it is a truly dangerous precedent for the whole world and could also be the start of I don’t know how many wars.” he said.

“We protest against this, it’s part of U.S. pressure,” he said during a televised Cabinet meeting.

Serbian protesters opposed to Washington’s support for Kosovo’s independence broke in and started a fire at the U.S. embassy in Belgrade on Thursday.

Venezuela joins several countries including China and Russia who have opposed Kosovo’s independence.

Chavez is close to Russia and China as a proponent of what he calls a multipolar world. He spends time and money on projects aimed at building a bloc of nations opposed to American influence.

Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel, Editing by Sandra Maler

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