/ 911

Venezuela President Chavez against US attack and US Bullying

*Venezuela, has emphasized that it can both endorse the battle against terror and criticize U.S. conduct.
`To call for an end to the war, to advocate causes, to attract attention to the need in this case that innocents don’t keep dying – I believe these are not reasons for irritating anyone,’
Chavez promotes a world order in which no single power dominates international politics and economics. Venezuela says that policy does not constitute anti-Americanism, and has pledged to share intelligence in the anti-terror effort. * . . . . . . . . .

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – President Hugo Chavez has irritated Washington with his refusal to adhere to America’s `with us or against us’ ground rules for the war on terror, but officials insisted Friday that bilateral ties were strong – despite the temporary recall of the U.S. ambassador.

Chavez has criticized the U.S.-led bombing campaign in Afghanistan, and held up photos of dead Afghan children during a Monday television appearance, calling the airstrikes a `slaughter of innocents.’

Although Chavez said he was merely echoing a position held by Pope John Paul II and some other world leaders, Washington responded sharply, temporarily recalling U.S. Ambassador Donna Hrinak.

State Department spokesman Philip Reeker called Chavez’s remarks `totally inappropriate.’

Foreign Minister Luis Alfonso Davila said Hrinak’s recall `should be considered a normal and routine event that occurs between states which have good relations.’ Hrinak is expected to return to Caracas on Nov. 7.

There was no indication that Venezuela planned to recall its ambassador to Washington, said Defense Minister Jose Vicente Rangel.

Venezuela, a major oil supplier to the United States, has emphasized that it can both endorse the battle against terror and criticize U.S. conduct.

`To call for an end to the war, to advocate causes, to attract attention to the need in this case that innocents don’t keep dying – I believe these are not reasons for irritating anyone,’ Davila said.

Chavez promotes a world order in which no single power dominates international politics and economics. Venezuela says that policy does not constitute anti-Americanism, and has pledged to share intelligence in the anti-terror effort.

After meeting with Davila on Wednesday, Hrinak said Venezuela remained a `partner’ in the struggle to destroy Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network.

`I think the word ‘partner’ says a lot,’ she said.

But some observers say Washington’s reaction revealed a waning patience with Chavez, a populist leader who has forged close ties with Cuba, visited Iraq’s Saddam Hussein as a leader of a fellow oil producing state and bars U.S. anti-drug aircraft from Venezuelan skies.

`The world has changed a lot since Sept. 11, and Chavez has less maneuverability to say what he wants,’ said Elsa Cardoso, head of International Relations Graduate Studies at the Central University of Venezuela.