Diario Judío México - Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez on Tuesday said his country recognized in Libya “only one government, the one headed by Muammar Gaddafi,” and reiterated his criticism of NATO air strikes on Tripoli.
“We recognize only one government, the one headed by Muammar Gaddafi. We reaffirm our solidarity with the Libyan people, our brothers who are attacked and bombed,” Chávez said during a cabinet meeting broadcast by all Venezuelan radio and television stations, Efe quoted.
“See what is happening in Libya. It is a shame. Undoubtedly, we are face-to-face with the imperial madness. They are looting and robbing international reserves and oil (from Libya,)” Chávez said, when Libyan rebels have taken most of Tripoli, including the headquarters of Gaddafi, whose whereabouts are unknown.
“(US President Barack) Obama has said that he will cooperate economically with the new government, which we of course do not recognize,” stressed the Venezuelan leader, a close ally of Gaddafi and the only one who has supported publicly the Libyan president in recent days.
Chávez said that NATO’s actions in Libya amount to “throwing away, kicking, spitting, and ignoring the most elementary principles of international law”
Since the beginning of the revolt in Libya six months ago, Chávez has supported Gaddafi’s regime and opposed to economic sanctions and NATO intervention. In February, he launched a draft peace plan and has exchanged letters in recent weeks with the Libyan leader.
Chávez views Gaddafi as a friend, and has visited Libya on several occasions. He paid his first visit to Libya in 2001 and the most recent in 2009, the same year when Gaddafi visited Venezuela to attend an African-South American Summit.