Venezuela is no threat | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 15, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 15, 2012

Venezuela is no threat

Chavez says Obama is a good guy

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President Hugo Chavez denied on Friday that Venezuela was a threat to anyone, after US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney criticised Barack Obama for playing down the risk posed by the socialist leader.
Obama told a Spanish-language television station in an interview screened this week that Chavez's actions over recent years had not had a serious impact on the national security of the United States.
Romney said Obama's comments were "stunning and shocking" and showed a pattern of weakness in the Democratic president's foreign policy.
In an interview with a local Venezuelan television station on Friday, Chavez dismissed the allegations he posed any danger.
"The Venezuela of today is no threat to anyone," he said.
"It has all been a hoax by the imperialists and global far right: that uranium is being enriched in Venezuela, that we're setting up missiles here, that we're supporting terrorism."
Whenever there were efforts to improve relations between Washington and Caracas, Chavez said, they were criticized by powerful "snipers" who issued threats in the US media.
With both Chavez and Obama running for re-election this year, Chavez struck a conciliatory tone, saying the latest comments by his US counterpart needed to seen in context.
"Obama is campaigning. He's a candidate. I hope the real revolutionaries understand well. I think that Barack Obama - aside from 'the president' - is a good guy," he said.
There was a window to improve ties between Caracas and Washington after Obama took office in 2009 and promised more engagement with foes.
Chavez, whose stridently anti-Washington politics are highly popular in his OPEC nation, has expanded ties with Iran while the United States and other nations have increased their pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program.

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