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Chavez says he isn't attacking Bush, continues 'counterattack'

Published: Friday September 22, 2006

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In an interview with TIME magazine, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez has followed his characterization of US President George W. Bush as "the devil" by saying it wasn't an attack--before once again going on the attack.

The full interview, set to appear in the pages of time, is available here.


Chavez told TIME, "I'm not attacking Bush; I'm simply counterattacking. Bush has been attacking the world, and not just with words - with bombs. I think the bombs he's unleashed on Baghdad or Lebanon do a lot more harm than any words spoken in the United Nations… In Bush's speech to the UN he sounded as if he wants to be master of the world. I changed my original speech after reading his."

Chavez expressed confidence that the U.N. will vote to give Venezuela a non-permanent seat in the Security Council next month. "It's because of the moment we're living right now, the need to block the cannons of the U.S. empire," he said. "The U.N.'s members believe we can have the most impact on that debate. The U.S. fears Venezuela's presence on the Council because it knows we'll be an independent vote for the Third World."

Chavez also had some pointed comments on his country's role as the hemisphere's largest oil producer. "Bush wanted Iraq's oil and I believe he wants Venezuela's oil," Chavez said. "But the blame for high oil prices lies in the consumer model of the U.S. Its reckless oil consumption is a form of suicide."