Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, speaking to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, is asked about his fears of an American invasion:
Yes, this is a genuine concern. We have evidence of plans that exist in this sense. Well, you see what has happened in Iraq and many other countries over these years . . . Now I am hopeful that we don’t go that far. First of all, because there is no reason for that. I would understand if there were a big war, the world war. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, of course, even though we might question the reasons behind that, there was an act of aggression against Kuwait. Have we invaded anyone? Do we have plans to invade any other country? We are not a power. We do not have atomic bombs. We do not have missiles to destroy people, to attack other people. So there is no reason whatsoever. There is another element, of course – the bottom line, of course, but it is not a reason to invade: It is oil. I do think that the main reason to invade Iraq was the oil.
And his thoughts on former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro:
What I am about to say might seem an exaggeration to you. But if the world had to choose a president – a president that could address the problems of the world, a president to lead the world, a president with the powers to do that – Fidel would be the man. Perhaps he’s not the only one. . . . He’s a machine, a human machine to solve problems, (with) a huge analytical capacity to analyze things and look for solutions to problems. I truly love him as a father, and it doesn’t bother me to say so. An older brother? No, he’s a father. And I think he sees me as a son. But out of respect, he calls me brother. But I think it is a father-son relationship.
It’s a shame that Chavez completely ignores the profound lack of free speech in Cuba.