Chavez Blasts European Powers, Urges NATO to Stop Air Raids

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday criticized European powers for their military intervention in Libya and urged NATO to stop air strikes against the North African country.

It was particularly wrong that the European powers continued to carry out military raids against targets in Libya when its leader Muammar Gaddafi had made repeated calls for a ceasefire, Chavez said in a live broadcast on state television.

Declaring that "Venezuea is with Libya," Chavez repeated his appeal for world powers to engage in talks between Gaddafi's government and the opposition.

"The Libyans are a heroic nation. Long live Libya and her independence. We are with you," said Chavez.

He said the European powers, instead of engaging in war, should concentrate on resolving the economic crisis that has engulfed the EU zone for months.

The European countries should "get out of this chess game" and take care of their own problems, "so we can open a road toward peace, world balance and justice," said Chavez, who described NATO air raids as "assassin bombings" and criticized in particular France, Britain and Spain.

[Source: Xinhua, Caracas, 15Jul11]

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