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Venezuela's Chavez: US Election Unlikely to Change Relations

Punto Fijo, November 6th, 2012 ( – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Monday that the presidential elections in the United States will not likely change anything with respect to Washington’s relationship with Latin America.

“We don’t have much hope that with one [candidate] or the other there will be important changes in the United States’ relationship with the world, with Latin America, or with Venezuela,” said Chavez yesterday in a televised cabinet meeting.

This comes as right-wing factions in the United States have attempted to draw a link between Chavez and US President Barack Obama. Chavez addressed the claim as part of the “political backwardness of the extreme right wing in the United States”.

“What I said was a joke, and now I hear they are using it in political ads,” he said in response to a video of clip in which Chavez says he would vote for Barack Obama.

The Venezuelan president went on to say that he hopes the United States will begin to change its role in the world.

“We will see what happens, and I hope that the next government of the United States begins to change its role in this world,” he said.

Chavez pointed to the situation in Libya as an example, criticizing US actions in the region, and comparing it to Venezuela.

“It hurt me very much to see how they bombed Libya,” he said, “and it was hard to believe that the Arab League asked the United States to bomb Libya”.

Chavez assured that this could not happen to Venezuela due to the strong alliances built among Latin American countries in recent years, and pointed to the example of UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations, which was founded in 2008.

Greater Efficiency

President Chavez also criticized inefficiencies in various aspects of his government, and demanded greater efficiency from the state sector during his next term in office.

“As long as I’m alive and healthy, you can be sure that I’m going to be extremely strict, stricter than I’ve ever been,” he said.

Chavez demanded that inefficient bureaucrats and government officials be held responsible for their failings, and promised that his ministers would be conducting “inspections, inspections, and more inspections”.

“If I have to change personnel, remove someone [from their post], or order an investigation, then that’s what we have to do,” he said.

Chavez referred to various examples, including the failure to carry out investments that had been approved in various parts of the country, and promised an “iron fist” for those responsible.

“This [warning] goes out to my own ranks, government ministries, productive units, government projects, programs, etc. “ he said. “To those who are failing we are going to apply an iron fist, and those who are doing well we will recognize them.”

President Chavez also responded to opposition claims that his government would increase state control over the economy, likening them to “cries of wolf.”

“We are not planning on the state taking control of everything,” he said, but assured that his government would continue to battle against speculation, inflation and inefficiencies in both the private and state sectors. 

Published on Nov 6th 2012 at 3.30pm