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CARACAS, Thursday July 05, 2012 | Update
 
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DIPLOMACY

Mitt Romney: Chávez fails to honor the spirit of the Independence Day

Mitt Romney, the virtual Republican nominee for US presidential election, congratulated Venezuelans for their Independence Day

EL UNIVERSAL
Thursday July 05, 2012  05:19 PM


The virtual Republican nominee for November presidential election in the United States, Mitt Romney, on Thursday congratulated Venezuelans for their Independence Day and regretted that their president, Hugo Chávez, fails to honor the spirit of liberty that prevailed when Venezuela was founded 201 years ago.

"Unfortunately, the leader of Venezuela has failed to honor the spirit of freedom with which Venezuela was established. Hugo Chávez is promoting ideas in Venezuela and other Latin American countries that run counter to freedom, prevent prosperity and expand tyranny," said the Republican leader in a statement quoted by news agency EFE.

Romney, who surely will be appointed at the end of August as the official Republican candidate for president, according to EFE, on Thursday sent his best wishes to Venezuelans on the commemoration of their independence. He recalled that Venezuelans "have made huge contributions to the culture of the United States."

One day after the United States also commemorated its Independence Day, Romney reaffirmed the Venezuelan people "the pledge to defend democracy and remain united with them and others who defend the rights of their fellow countrymen."

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also congratulated Venezuela and reminded the importance of the free presidential election that will be held this year in the South American country. She described the vote as the best way to pay tribute to Venezuela's founding fathers.

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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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