The President of Venezuela said Washington's free market policies in Latin America led to “exclusion, misery and destabilization”
In another chapter of the dialectic battle between Washington and Caracas, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez blamed the United States for the recent crisis in Bolivia. According to Mr. Chavez, the US brand of capitalism and its free market policies fuelled in Latin America had led to "exclusion, misery and destabilisation."
Speaking for his weekly TV program, Chavez called President George W Bush's proposal for a regional free trade agreement a "medicine of death." "Look at Bolivia. Fortunately the Bolivians opened the door toward a peaceful path, but they were on the verge of a civil war," said Mr Chavez.
Chavez words came as an expected reply to certain US diplomats who said to the press that Venezuela was behind the popular uprisings in Bolivia that ended with the resignation of President Carlos Mesa last week. However, no probes were provided on the above and Mesa himself made clear to the press that the Venezuelan government did not intervene in the crisis.
According to the US State Department, Chavez has been funding social organizations in Bolivia and, specially, the Movement to Socialism party, led by farmer leader Evo Morales. However, Latin American countries involved in the negotiations to bring some peace to the embattled Bolivia – Argentina and Brazil - rejected allegations, according to sources at last week's OAS meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Venezuela harshly refused allegations: “No, indignantly, no”, replied its Foreign Minister, Ali Rodriguez to a press request at the OAS summit last week. “The US government is adding fuel to the fire”, he told.
“Capitalism means destabilisation, violence and war”
During his Sunday's emission, Chavez said Latin American countries were moving towards socialist economic models instead of US-style capitalism. He said Mr. Bush's idea for a hemisphere-wide free trade zone, mooted last week at a meeting of the Organisation of American States in Florida, would lead to more poverty and protests in the region.
"We say no Mr. Bush, no sir... I'm sorry for you," he said. "The people of Latin America are saying 'no' to you, Mr Danger, they are saying no to your medicine. “Capitalism is the road to destabilisation, violence and war between brothers."