CARACAS, Monday November 14, 2005 | Update
"An axis of liberation has emerged: Caracas-Brasilia-Montevideo-Buenos Aires," said the Venezuelan ruler (Photo: Miraflores Press Office)
President Hugo Chávez praised the role of the countries comprising the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), including Venezuela, in defeating the United States, Mexico and Canada plans to impose the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) during the fourth Summit of the Americas held last weekend in Argentina.
Chávez' remarks came Sunday during his weekly radio and TV show "ˇAló, Presidente!" (Hello, President!), broadcast from the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas.
In a show that exceeded four hours, Chávez underscored that his proposed Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) has defeated FTAA.
He also seized the opportunity to address an impasse with Mexican President Vicente Fox. "He attacked me and I fought back. Fox was wounded. Do not mess with me, you can be pricked."
In this sense, Chávez claimed that North American nations had a plan to "run over" the rest of the countries in the region. "FTAA is impossible to achieve, it is not feasible. Our peoples have already said no."
Chávez said the United States took an "arbitrary, blackmailing" stance when attempting to put pressure on South American nations and Venezuela to make them change their views on the regional trade bloc.
According to Chávez, geopolitics has drastically changed in the region following the summit in Mar del Plata. "Ideals, moral were the winners. An axis of liberation emerged: Caracas-Brasilia-Montevideo-Buenos Aires," he ensured.
Chávez disclosed results of a recent poll conducted by research firm Latinobarómetro and praised the success of participative democracy in Venezuela. According to the survey, Venezuelans showed the highest level of satisfaction (74 percent) with democracy in the region,
Based on such results, Chávez dismissed claims that democracy in Venezuela is at stake.
Translated by Maryflor Suárez R.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.