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Venezuela’s Chavez ready for talks with Washington, 'without conditionings'

07.12.2006
 
Venezuela’s Chavez ready for talks with Washington, 'without conditionings'

“Jesus Christ talked to the devil. We can also do it”, the recently reelected President commented to the press in Caracas.

The reelected President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, said on Tuesday that his government is “open for talks with Washington”, but on the basis of “mutual respect”. However, the leftist leader of the oil-rich South American nation said he wasn’t optimistic about a sincere dialogue with US authorities.

After Venezuelans reelected Chavez on Sunday with over 63% of the votes, the US State Secretary for Latin America, Thomas Shannon, commented that Washington was “respectful of the Venezuelan democracy.” He also said that Washington was ready to reinitiate talks with Caracas to normalize bilateral ties.

“We hope that those voices that come from the United States are sincere”, said Chavez. “But we are not sure they are. They want talks with conditionings, which means that you have to accept what they consider correct”, he complained.

Jesus Christ talked to the devil, we can do the same”, told Chavez to reporters at the Ayacucho hall of the Venezuelan Miraflores Palace of Government in Caracas. “We need moral strength to talk to the devil and we have it”, he said.

However, the leader of the “Bolivarian revolution”, an ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, said that his US counterpart, George W. Bush, should quit after losing midterm elections last month. “Mr. Bush has to resign, as many officials of his government did it. He has made a disaster in his country, where the only things that are going up is poverty and military expending,” Chavez remarked.

“Let’s hope the United States will have a good government some day”, Chavez told reporters before discussing with journalists the foundations of the “Socialism of the 21st Century”, a “Venezuelan way to Socialism”, which he said he is going to push forward in the following six years.

Hernan Etchaleco
Venezuela
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