Venezuela offers to accept Guantanamo prisoners

April 2nd, 2009 - 5:57 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Cairo, April 2 (EFE) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said that his country “would have no problems in receiving” prisoners released from the detention centre for suspected terrorists at the US navy base in Guantanamo, Cuba.
“We wouldn’t have any problem receiving a human being,” Chavez said in a phone-in interview program on Qatar-based Al Jazeera television Wednesday.

The Venezuelan president, however, added that so far, his country has not been asked to assist in efforts to close the detention center at Guantanamo.

Chavez, who travelled to Qatar for a summit of Arab and South American nations, expressed hope that new US president, Barack Obama, would release all the prisoners at Guantanamo “and return Guantanamo Bay to Cuba and do away with that miserable prison.”

The Venezuelan leader also expressed the hope that Obama “makes himself into the empire’s last president,” but he also expressed his scepticism about that possibility.

“I don’t have much hope (because) there’s an empire behind (him). I hope that the United States’ own dynamic, and above all what we can do, helps there to be a change,” Chavez said.

Wearing an olive green jacket and red shirt and occasionally using a world map to illustrate his points, Chavez lamented the fact that “in some parts of the world” people label him as a dictator.

“In Spain there’s no dictatorship, but the Spanish prime minister, just like the Venezuelan (president) can be elected as many times as the people want,” Chavez said.

“In France (it’s) the same, and in almost all European countries … That’s a strong reflection of how they see us,” he added, calling himself the victim of a “double standard”.

In the 90-minute interview, Chavez mentioned, among other people, Karl Marx, Jesus Christ, Nelson Mandela and Mao Zedong.

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