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Brazil Welcomes Chavez Back as President of Venezuela

Brazil has welcomed the restoration of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez to the presidency calling it a significant step in reaffirming democratic values in the hemisphere.

A foreign ministry statement expressed Brazil's satisfaction over President Chavez's return to power saying it marks the restoration of constitutional order in Venezuela, and the resumption of a democratic political process.

The statement went on to describe the brief ouster of Mr. Chavez as an "institutional break", which "deserved the firm condemnation by Brazil and the rest of the international community".

The communiqué also expressed confidence that the Chavez government and the Venezuelan people can together find the path to freedom and respect for human rights.

The views of Brazil Latin America's largest nation are in contrast to those of the United States. U.S. officials have blamed the Venezuelan leader for creating the conditions that led to his ouster last week.

U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice Sunday urged Mr. Chavez to make good use of his second chance to govern by changing policies which she said have taken Venezuela in the wrong direction.

Mr. Chavez, a leftist populist, was elected in 1998 on promises to end corruption and implement a social revolution. But his policies have generated opposition in Venezuela from business and organized labor.

Mr. Chavez was overthrown late last week by segments of the military during massive anti-government protests. But he was returned to power Sunday following large demonstrations by his supporters.