CARACAS, Venezuela, March 21, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / AP ) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned what he called “indiscriminate bombing” by the U.S. and its allies in Libya, saying Sunday that the assault is causing civilian casualties, AP reported on Sunday.
Chavez said the U.S. is after Libya’s oil, and warned President Barack Obama not to try any similar intervention in the South American country. “With Venezuela, don’t even think about it, Mr. Obama,” he said.
Chavez, who has long-standing ties to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, demanded the airstrikes be halted in Libya and echoed claims of civilian victims by its government, which said 48 people were killed.
“Civilian victims have now begun to appear because some bombs are launched — 200, 400 bombs from out there at sea — and those bombs fall where they fall,” Chavez said during his weekly television and radio program.
“Libya is under imperial fire. Nothing justifies this,” Chavez said, holding up a newspaper showing an explosion on the front page.
“Indiscriminate bombing,” he said. “Who gave those countries the right? Neither the United States, nor France, nor England, nor any country has the right to be dropping bombs.”
Chavez said African Union leaders were meeting in Mauritania to discuss the conflict.
“That’s what must be done, and going there to talk with the parties in the conflict, but not launching bombs, more bombs, more death,” Chavez said.
“Let’s try to help, to intercede between the parties,” he said. “A cease-fire, sitting down at a table. That’s the path when facing conflicts of this sort.”
The Venezuelan president and several other leaders in Latin America have strongly opposed military intervention in Libya.
On Saturday, delegates at a meeting in Bolivia of the left-leaning ALBA bloc accused the U.S. and its allies of trying to seize Libya’s oil. The group includes Venezuela and seven other Latin American and Caribbean nations.
“We repeat our message from Venezuela, from the ALBA: We demand a halt to the attack against Libya,” Chavez said Sunday. “What madness. … It’s imperial madness.”
Chavez often refers to the United States as “the empire” and condemns the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (*)