Venezuela's President, Hugo Chávez, congratulated Barack Obama for his "historic election" on Tuesday and confirmed his desire to establish "new relations" with the United States and re-launch "a constructive bilateral agenda" for the wellbeing of the two peoples.
"In this day of hope for Americans, President Hugo Chávez, on behalf of the people of Venezuela, congratulates the people of the United States and the president-elect Barack Obama for his important victory," reads a statement of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as reported by AFP.
Chávez, who expelled US ambassador to Venezuela Patrick Duddy in mid-September, is a major critic of the United States and of the outgoing president George W. Bush. The Venezuelan president trusted that "the historic election of an Afro-American is a sign that the change of an era in South America may be knocking on the doors of the United States."
"From the homeland of Simón Bolívar (the South American independence leader), we are convinced that the time has come to establish a new relation between our countries and with our region based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, equality and real cooperation," read the statement.
They are marching in step to the same tune. There is a coordinated effort to position the idea. The Twitter hashtag #YoSoyVictimaDeLaGuarimba (I'm a victim of "guarimbas", or protest barricades) can be read on all pro-government Twitter accounts, including those of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the National Assembly's Press Office, the state-run food distribution network PDVAL, state airline Conviasa, the Venezuelan embassies in foreign countries, radio stations and the huge media network responsive to the Government's interests and messages.