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President Ch?vez says Barack Obama's statement about nuclear weapons is encouraging

The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, said a recent statement by U.S. President Barack Obama about his desire to have a world free of nuclear weapons is encouraging.

“It is very encouraging that he proposed an end to or is promoting the dismantling of nuclear weapons in the world,” President Chávez said on Tuesday during a press conference as he was leaving Tokyo, Japan for Beijing, China.

“It is a topic for the [world’s] great powers, but it affects us all,” he added.

The President also indicated that many countries, such as Cuba, Russia and Venezuela, have been rejecting the creation of nuclear weapons for a long time, but “for the President of the United States—the primary nuclear power in the world, the only one that has launched atomic bombs and has not apologized, which it should someday do—to say that is encouraging.”

President Obama affirmed on Sunday that the U.S. has the moral responsibility to lead efforts for a nuclear weapons-free world, but he warned that given that this process cannot be completed in a short timeframe, the U.S. will maintain an arsenal to dissuade its adversaries and guarantee the defense of its allies.

President Chávez made a call for world peace: “We should take the path towards peace and peaceful coexistence; we share Russia’s position on the topic.  We must evaluate, be patient and prudent without alarmism of any kind.”

He also said the Bolivarian government is not biased against President Obama. “We are just observing and evaluating,” Chávez affirmed.

The Venezuelan president emphasized that relations between Venezuela and the U.S. will be strengthened on the basis of respect, “rapprochement and future dialogue, working together in different areas.  All of that is possible with respect.”

President Chávez also invited the U.S. President to “sign up for the new era which is starting. . . . I am offering Obama my hand to say: Come here to the side that wants peace in the world and truly loves humanity!  Let us make an alliance to fight hunger, poverty, violence, drug trafficking, terrorism and racism.”

Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / April 7, 2009

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