Thursday, February 22, 2007

Chavez: Arias is offending Venezuelans

(El Universal) - President Hugo Chavez Wednesday said that his Costa Rican counterpart Oscar Arias "is offending the Venezuelan people" when he claims that the Enabling Law endorsed by the National Assembly to grant Chavez special ruling powers for 18 months is a denial of democracy.
According to Chavez, Venezuelan people "have decided to take a path and nobody is taking them away from this path."

Chavez suggested that Arias' statements and other remarks made by his critics are intended to seek approval from Washington. "All they want is an invitation to a ranch in Texas," Chavez said in a reference to US President George W. Bush' estate.

The Venezuelan ruler claimed "some people" are slashing out at him "with no reasons." "What have I done to the Costa Rican President? Absolutely nothing. I have never picked on him, until now."

Chavez added that following Arias' statements he is "absolutely free to answer back. We need to respect each other. 'Dictatorship in Venezuela,' who knows what he meant! They are old friend of (former Venezuelan President) Carlos Andres Perez," whom he branded as "part of the stinky history of this country (…), the putrid pages of history."

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