President Hugo Chavez said Monday that Venezuela would not recognize the governing body of Libya’s rebels, defending Muammar Qaddafi and urging his ally to stand firm against the armed movement aimed at ousting the Libyan leader.
“I respect him a lot,” President Chavez said, referring to Colonel Qaddafi. “He’s resisting there. Long live Libya!”
President Chavez condemned NATO airstrikes in Libya and called the North African nation’s rebel National Transitional Council a “group of terrorists.”
Addressing Col. Qaddafi, President Chavez said: “Live and be victorious. We’re with you.”
President Chavez - one of Latin America’s most outspoken critics of Washington’s foreign policy - has repeatedly condemned what he calls “indiscriminate bombing” by the United States and its allies in Libya, saying their military attacks are unjustified and will only unleash more bloodshed.
Earlier Monday, President Chavez said a delegation representing Col. Qaddafi’s government was visiting Venezuela.
The self-proclaimed socialist said he was not able to meet with the delegates due to his treatment for cancer.