Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has tense relations with the United States, despite being one of its main suppliers of crude oil.
CARACAS – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a fierce critic of the United States, late Monday slammed “very bad signals” from U.S. president-elect Barack Obama that he said were “disrespectful” to Iran.
“Iranian President “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent him a letter. The reply wasn’t good. It was disrespectful. Obama was unable to get away from the cliche. He spoke like (President George W.) Bush. They are very bad signs,” Chavez said in a late night news conference to foreign journalists.
Obama told his first news conference after winning the US presidential election on Nov. 4 that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons was “unacceptable.”
He also said that he would “respond appropriately” to a congratulatory letter from Ahmadinejad.
Chavez has tense relations with the United States, despite being one of its main suppliers of crude oil.
Venezuela expelled the U.S. ambassador to Caracas in September and Washington responded in kind.
The United States is “the empire that kills, bombs and assassinates. If Obama can convert that infernal machine into a machine that benefits the world, I think that would be a lot to hope for,” Chavez said.
“We only aspire to respect. Hopefully he’ll surround himself with good advisors, that he honors his color, his origin, that he remembers where he comes from. His wife is black, what beautiful children they have,” the fierce anti-liberal said.
“Hopefully they’re not going to kill Obama, but that murdering machinery is capable of anything,” Chavez added.
The firebrand leader has tightened ties with Iran in recent years, and has referred to Ahmadinejad as a “brother.”