Sunday, May 18, 2008

Chávez blames Bush, not U.S.

Speaking with U.S. newspaper editors, he says he wants to reach out to whoever is elected president in November.

CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chávez says Venezuela's beef with the United States is all about George Bush, and the government will reach out quickly to the new American president.

In a wide-ranging interview Thursday with a group of visiting American newspaper editors, Chávez said he respected the American people and wished to "beg for forgiveness if in my speech I have hurt any feelings back in the States."
He said his criticism is aimed at "the elite that is governing the United States, and not even all the elite."

Of the American presidential candidates, Chávez said, "It would be a lie to say I have no preference." But "I shouldn't say anything that would be used against someone."

Chávez wants to start immediate exchanges with whoever is elected. "It is through talking that we can then come closer and share and compare our views and then reach an agreement."

Chávez said he had been able to talk with President Clinton about many topics, "but after that everything broke to pieces.".......

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