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CARACAS, Monday November 03, 2008 | Update
 
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Politics
Hugo Chávez willing to talk with the "black man"

Venezuela's President said that "he is sending signals to Barack Obama" from now on

The Head of State expects that George Bush's successor lifts an embargo against Cuba and stops threatening Iran (Photo: ABN)
PEDRO PABLO PEÑALOZA |  EL UNIVERSAL
Monday November 03, 2008  12:38 PM


Although the Venezuelan President never gave names, if we examine the profile he outlined ("a black man of African descent, from humble origins and young") it is obvious that Hugo Chávez was not referring to US Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

"From now on, I am sending signals to the black man," said Chávez hinting he was referring to the Democratic Party candidate, Barack Obama, who could become on Tuesday the new president of the United States. 

Venezuela's leader recalled that "the black man" has labeled him as "tyrant" and a "threat to Washington." However, Chávez said: "He should know that I am not a tyrant; he should know I do not represent a threat to the United States. He said that he is willing to talk and from now on, 48 hours before the black man of African descent, a young man of humble origins becomes the next president of the United States, I say that I am willing to sit down and talk on equal and respectful terms, nothing more than that."

Chávez hoped that the relations with the White House will enter a "new phase." "The fact that a black man becomes president of the US is not negligible. However, we will see whether the black man will rise to the occasion."

The Venezuelan head of State expects that the "black man" meets the "hopes" of peace harbored by most of people around the world. He stressed that lifting an embargo against Cuba represents "a test" for the successor of George W. Bush.

"I hope the next US government will end that savage embargo against Cuba, withdraw troops from Iraq and end the threats against Iran, Venezuela and the rest of the world," said Chávez.

The ruler recognized that the "US should be a great world power but not an empire." Chávez said the "black man" does not need to be a socialist or a revolutionary to improve US-Venezuela diplomatic ties.   

His remarks came during a televised speech from his hometown Barinas, where he kicked off the works for building Barinas international airport, which will cost about USD 700 million.  

Commenting on the launch of Simón Bolívar satellite (Venesat-1), he said: "the "escuálidos" (opposition) are sad by the successful launch of the rocket. It seems that it hit them on a weak point, because they are complaining a lot." Chávez said that "now I am preparing a second launch. They will say that it hurt a lot."

In the evening, at an event with the regional candidates of his United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), he called to fight large estates.  "There are still many small latifundia in Barinas. Therefore, Adán (Chávez brother's and candidate for Barinas governor's office) I ask you to seize unproductive lands," Chávez demanded. He said that Venezuelan businessman Tobías Carrero would be one of the landowners affected.

Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas

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Is protest over?

That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending  in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.

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