Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his view that South American nations should work together to solve their problems does not put him at odds with the United States.
Mr. Chavez spoke to VOA Thursday on the sidelines of the Mercosur meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay. The outspoken critic of President Bush said his focus on South America helps bring Venezuela closer to solving its most serious problems.
Mr. Chavez also promised that Venezuela will remain in the Andean Community trade pact, even though the country is becoming a full member of the much larger Mercosur trade bloc. He said he will try to unite the two groups.