Caracas, Venezuela, September 22, 2006—Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denied plans on Wednesday to attend Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s inauguration as “legitimate president,” during a press conference following his speech at the 61st General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.
Mexican Presidential candidate Felipe Calderon was officially declared presidential-elect in early August by Mexico’s Federal Electoral Tribunal after a two month re-count stand-off with the leftist candidate and former Mexico City Mayor, López Obrador. Calderon is set to take the rains of the country on December 1st.
However with claims of fraud, López Obrador held a massive rally and “National Democratic Convention” on September 16th in Mexico’s main plaza, where his supporters elected him the “legitimate president.” López Obrador will “take power” of his parallel government on November 20.
With Venezuela still yet to recognize Calderon as Mexican Presidential-elect, rumors had surfaced that President Chavez was planning to attend López Obrador’s inauguration of his parallel government.
According to Mexico’s El Universal, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez, announced earlier this week that Chavez could not attend the event as a head of state and would need authorization from the Secretary of Foreign Relations.
“The Mexican government would not accept that he go to a public event and that he hold an official function as Venezuelan president, without being within the context of an agreed upon visit with the Mexican government,” said Derbez.
Chavez denied the rumors on Wednesday stating, “This about me going to the inauguration of López Obrador has been a surprise to me, I don’t have plans to go to Mexico, but I love Mexico.”
Chavez reiterated his fears of the possibility of electoral fraud in the Mexican elections and announced that his country is still “evaluating” the situation regarding whether or not to recognize Calderon as Presidential-elect.
“We are evaluating,” said Chavez “We believe that without a doubt there is a situation, time will tell. There are millions of Mexicans and a leader in the streets that say they do not recognize this victory… there are not a few.”
Current Mexican President Vicente Fox responded earlier this week to the Venezuelan decision to continue to “evaluate the situation” and accused Chavez of meddling in Mexican affairs.
“It appears to us this it is, on the part of Mr. Chavez, intromission, and a judgment of Mexican affairs, that doesn’t correspond to him. Certainly, we reject this criticism,” said Fox according to La Jornada.
Nevertheless, Mexican Foreign Minister Derbez declared this week that the disagreements would not cause a break in diplomatic relations with the Venezuelan country.
“We don’t believe, in any way, that this will lead to a break in relations, nor will they get worse, but we do want to be clear that we condemn the intervention of anyone in affairs that are the business of the Mexican people alone,” said Derbez.
“I am Zapatista”
During Wednesday’s press conference, Chavez additionally shared his “love for Mexico.”
“I’ve loved Mexico since I was a child, when I saw the films of Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete,” said Chavez
“I am Villista, I am Zapatista,” he added, “I would have loved to have been a soldier with Villa, invading the United States, he was the only one who dared to do it.”