Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are amidst tight reelection fights. Nevertheless, Chavez found the time to give a surprise endorsement on Sunday to President Obama. He also said that he felt the president of the U.S. no doubt felt the same way.
Chavez said if he was from the U.S., he would vote in the presidential election for Obama and he hoped his endorsement would not hurt Obama’s chances. That was a surprising reversal from the socialist leader, who has been very insulting of the president since 2009.
Chavez is currently running for reelection for another six-year presidential term against Henrique Capriles. Obama is seeking his reelection for another four-year term in November against challenger Mitt Romney of the Republican Party. The election in Venezuela takes place on Sunday October 7.
Chavez called Obama a good person and said if Obama was from some neighborhood in Venezuela like Barlovento, he would most likely vote for Chavez. The town Chavez referred to is known for its large population of residents with African roots.
Chavez has been a critic of Washington since he was elected to office 14 years ago. He once called George W. Bush, the former President of the United States a devil and a drunk. He made an initial overture to Obama, when Obama was first elected, but nothing came of it.
He says that after he is reelected and when the U.S. reelects Obama, he hopes the two countries can return to normal diplomatic relations.
Since Chavez entered office, he has projected his leadership as the head of an anti-imperialist movement that was inspired by his ideological mentor and friend Fidel Castro.