Chavez: Venezuela firmly backing Gadhafi
Updated: 2011-08-02 09:28
CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez said Monday that Venezuela would not recognize the governing body of Libya's rebels, defending Moammar Gadhafi and urging his ally to stand firm against the armed movement aimed at ousting the Libyan leader.
"I respect him a lot," Chavez said, referring to Gadhafi. "He's resisting there. Long live Libya!"
Chavez condemned NATO airstrikes in Libya and called the North African nation's rebel National Transitional Council a "group of terrorists."
Addressing Gadhafi, Chavez said: "Live and be victorious. We're with you."
Chavez _ one of Latin America's most outspoken critics of Washington's foreign policy _ has repeatedly condemned what he calls "indiscriminate bombing" by the United States and its allies in Libya, saying their military attacks are unjustified and will only unleash more bloodshed.
Earlier Monday, Chavez said a delegation representing Gadhafi's government was visiting Venezuela, but he was not able to meet with the delegates due to his treatment for cancer.