Chavez postpones trip to the U.S. due to security concerns and domestic agenda

Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Roy Chaderton confirmed today that President, Hugo Chávez postponed his trip to the United States due to "domestic agenda and issues of security".

Chavez planned to go to the U.S. in order to attend the general meeting of the United Nations at the end of September.

Chaderton explained, “Trips like these are reviewed, and verified. More than one time they have been postponed or advanced. Thus there is no need to be alarmed. We can be sure that in any moment in the future that trip to the United States is going to happen”.

When journalists insisted in knowing the details of the possibility of an assassination attempt against President Chávez, Chaderton only said “We have enough elements to make decisions like this about the [President’s] agenda. We always must be taking care, anticipating any circumstance that can happen anywhere on the world that could affect us.”

He insisted on saying that they took into account “security and another element. On security we must something that it is a permanent element when evaluating the next move to be made by any Chief of State and of any important personality, of relevance”. In addition he considered opportune to remind people that one of the nations more visited by Chavez is the United States.

When asked about why Chavez and Bush have not yet have met, he answered “there are 180 countries in the world, I don’t believe that the President of the United States has met with all the leaders of the world. In any case, that is one reality with which we can perfectly live. We can go to the U.S., take care of our interests there, take care of the interests that the U.S. has with us, all without needing summit-like meetings. There are realities with which we must live, and we shouldn’t make then a matter of excessive speculation.”

Chaderton was asked about the statements made by the former counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, Phil Parkerson, who suggested that the U.S. “should not believe President Chavez’s lies”. His response was “It is not worth to engage in a controversy with that man. He is [just] an American citizen who expressed his opinion.” Parkerson wrote a controversial article in the anti-Chavez newspaper The Miami Herald, arguing the freedom of press, speech, assembly and association do not exist in Venezuela, and accusing Chavez of imposing an authoritarian Fidel Castro-inspired rule. Parkerson also criticized many U.S. and foreign journalists and some U.S. officials who have complained about Venezuela’s mainstream media losing all ethics and objectivity, something that Chavez has said himself in many occasions.

Chaderton justified the number of comments about Venezuela made in the U.S. recently by saying “we are getting famous. Due to good reasons for us and for those who think like us, and perhaps for bad reasons for those accustomed to a country that didn’t take good care of it’s national interests.”