Venezuela’s Chavez: Obama Should Govern His Own Country and not
In a meeting with ministers yesterday, Chavez offered his thoughts on the current US president’s re-election, saying, “Hopefully President Obama reflects and dedicates himself to governing his country, and forgets about invading other peoples, destabilising other countries, etc.”
The Venezuela president further stated his opinion that Obama should “reflect, first, for his country, which lamentably has many social and economic problems. It's a divided country, a country with a social and economic fracture where poverty and misery are growing every day.”
With Chavez’s own re-election on 7 October, both presidents have been through long electoral campaigns this year. The latest figures on the US election put turnout lower than in 2008, possibly at around 50%. In Venezuela’s presidential election turnout was 81%, a historic high.
Speaking to ministers, Chavez also described the US as being dominated by “a super elite, [who] are exploiting the country and society: poisoning it, cheating it, manipulating it through a media war.”
Venezuelan – US relations have been frozen at the chargé d’Affaires level since 2010, when the former US ambassador to Venezuela, Patrick Duddy, ended his term of service, and the Chavez government refused at accept Obama’s replacement, Larry Palmer.
Message to Candidates
In the same meeting, Chavez also sent a message to the candidates for his party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), in the upcoming regional and local elections.
The Venezuelan head of state warned candidates against a lack of commitment with the Bolivarian movement, saying that some of his party’s elected representatives “end up trapped by the regional bourgeoisie…and each of those cases has pained me greatly.”
He accused some of his movement’s representatives as being afraid of local power elites, and argued “they freeze up….you see them making great speeches, and suddenly they win the mayoralty, the governorship, and they stop themselves!”
Chavez also criticised his governors for not doing more to tackle the system of large-scale land ownership in Venezuela, known as latifundios. He stated that “I haven’t received, in all these years, even one recommendation from a governor to confront the latifundios, to fulfil the constitution: it seems you’ve forgotten, then?”
The PSUV is currently waging a campaign against the opposition MUD coalition, and other groups, for state governor elections slated for 16 December. In many states the election is likely to be tight-fought.
In this context, Chavez declared to the PSUV’s candidates, “What I’m doing is a reflection and a call, hand on heart…from now on I commit my candidates for governor to assume their responsibility with the revolution, not with local groups, or political groups inside the (PSUV) party.”
Chavez also clarified that he was not referring to all PSUV representatives, and argued that the movement had many “good teams”. He concluded his commentary by again urging all his candidates to maintain “loyalty [with] the people and the revolution, whatever the cost.”
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