News / Americas

Chavez Says He Will Continue to Speak Out Against Imperialism

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez talks during a press conference at the Miraflores palace in Caracas, Venezuela, October 9, 2012.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez talks during a press conference at the Miraflores palace in Caracas, Venezuela, October 9, 2012.
Brian Padden
President Hugo Chavez's election victory appears to mean that relations between Venezuela and the United States will remained strained.  Chavez has been a fierce critic of the U.S. while nurturing friendships with U.S. adversaries like Cuba, Iran, and Syria, and his first news conference after his election seemed to reinforce some of those positions.

First news conference

At his first news conference since winning re-election and after recovering from three cancer-related surgeries since 2011, President Chavez was in good spirits.  The Venezuelan leader said he considers the 54 percent of the vote he garnered as a mandate to continue his socialist policies.

“The country voted for the continuation of a political agenda, an economic agenda, a social agenda, in short, a socialist agenda,” Chavez stated.

Chavez said he is open to dialogue with the opposition but that he would not compromise on his core principles.  


Foreign affairs

On foreign affairs, Chavez has been one of the United States' most vocal critics.  He has allied Venezuela with autocratic leaders in Cuba, Iran and Syria.

Milos Alcalay is a former deputy foreign minister now aligned with the opposition.  He says the opposition wants market-oriented reforms at home and a less confrontational foreign policy with the U.S. “Because our relations are not with Ahmadinejad or with Syria of Bashar al-Assad or with the sort of Libya's Gadhafi but with the respect in hemispheric relations where all our basic treaties lie,” he said.

But at the news conference, President Chavez again spoke in support of Syria's leaders and against what he calls a new era of western imperialism.

“Syria is a sovereign country for the love of God, just like Libya, just like Venezuela, just like the United States, just like any other country in the world.  So if we don't agree?  But we have to agree with the thinking of who?  If you say no, then bomb you and destabilize you?  That is not right,” Chavez explained.

Separately, Chavez said he favors President Barack Obama in next month's U.S. election. “By how much do you think Obama will win, who by the way is my candidate.  He is my candidate," he added. "If I was from North America I would vote for Obama.”

President Chavez says he will continue to be who he is and for many that is at times confounding, confrontational, and engaging.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Scores Killed in Western Mexico Gunfight

Officials say almost every person killed in Michoacan state shootout was a suspected gang member
More

Latest US-Cuban Talks Ends in Washington

Both sides cite progress on restoring diplomatic ties, but no final agreement reached
More

Tutu Lends Support to Age Campaign

Help Age International has launched Action 2015 campaign
More

Colombia Kills 18 FARC Rebels

The bombing raid took place in the Cauca region of western Colombia
More

Lawmakers Question Normalization Effort With Cuba

On eve of next round of US-Cuba talks, Senator Bob Menendez calls engagement 'one-sided'
More

Chinese Premier Visits South America

Brazil is the first stop on Chinese premier Li’s tour of Latin America
More