Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday during a press conference in Montevideo that the Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi “is doing what has to be done, resisting an imperial aggression” and added that “it’s not anticipated that he has plans to leave Libya”.
“Whether we share or not what Gaddafi does or thinks, Fidel Castro has described it crystal clear: I don’t share what he proposes or does but you can’t respond for what he does in his country. As Pepe Mujica (Uruguayan president) was telling me this morning, not even if the president of a country is the worst scoundrel on earth can you justify that a group of countries begin bombing and killing innocent people in the name of peace”.
While criticizing the international coalition military intervention in Libya, Chavez said that the “empire” was after the resources of the North African country and “robbing it of its 200 billion US dollars in international reserves belonging to the Libyan people”.
“For some I am a tyrant for others even a murderer, but (US President) Obama is a Nobel Peace Prize, and he is ordering the bombings. The same in Iraq, Afghanistan, it was the government of the United States, and now Libya, that is how the world is going. An upside down world”, said Chavez.
When asked if Venezuela was prepared to give asylum to Gaddafi, if he so requests it, Chavez said he spoke twice with the Libyan leader and he has repeatedly stated “that he is not leaving Libya”.
Chavez repeated his proposal (from the very beginning of the conflict) to set up a peace commission to mediate between the opposition forces and Gaddafi's regime as an alternative to the military intervention.
Uruguayan president Jose Mujica defended the “peoples self determination” and underlined that for the Uruguayans it is a matter of principle “not to recognize anybody the right to intervene in another country”.
The Venezuelan leader arrived in Uruguay from Argentina and late evening left for the following leg of his tour of the region in Bolivia.
During his brief visit to Uruguay Chavez who is travelling with a numerous official delegation signed several trade, energy, agriculture and technology agreements.
The energy agreement includes Uruguay’s oil corporation Ancap participation in the development of so called ‘mature’ wells and forming part of the consortium that manages the tar sands of the Orinoco basin considered one of the world’s largest reserves.
More specifically on the bilateral relation, both presidents agreed to promote initiatives to deepen regional integration underlining that the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) must be built on a solid base.
”The organization (Unasur) needs to be filled with content, to give it shape...as a mechanism of integration said Chavez.
On his side Mujica urged the Paraguayan Congress to ratify the entry of Venezuela to the Common Market of the South (Mercosur).
Mujica said it is necessary that Venezuela, as an important ally of Uruguay, joins Mercosur in order to contribute to the partnership for the common good of all the countries.