Chavez hails Zapatero as 'revolutionary'

22nd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 November 2004, MADRID- Visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero share "good vibes" and the same social views.

22 November 2004

MADRID- Visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero share "good vibes" and the same social views.

"Since our first meeting (in May), the vibes have been very, very good," the populist president said in an interview with the Spanish daily El Pais published on Monday.

"The convergence between his social discourse and ours is obvious."

Chavez, who arrived Sunday for a two-day official visit, was to have his first talks with the socialist government leader on Monday.

Although this is his fourth visit to Spain since 1999, Chavez, who is allied with Cuban President Fidel Castro, had particularly strained relations with Zapatero's conservative predecessor Jose Maria Aznar.

He said the page had been turned following the strain that occurred during the Aznar years, 1996-2004, when the conservative prime minister publicly supported Pedro Carmona in a failed attempt in April 2002 to topple Chavez.

The Venezuelan president acknowledged to El Pais that he had differences with Zapatero over economic issues.

"But the government of Rodriguez Zapatero undoubtedly places the social interests of the Spanish people in the forefront, and we fully concur on that," Chavez added, referring to Zapatero's social views as "revolutionary."

Asked about the re-election of US President George W Bush early this month, Chavez said he was "always ready to act, or more precisely respond, because it is they who set the line, the strong ones, who control global means of communication and have the capability of blockading countries or invading them."

During his visit, Chavez is expected to announce a major joint venture between Spain's Repsol YPF oil and gas company with Venezuela's state-owned producer Petroleos de Venezuela.

The venture reportedly will allow increased oil and gas production around Lake Maracaibo in northwestern Venezuela where Repsol already has facilities.

Venezuela is the world's fifth-largest fuel exporter with a daily production of 2.6 million barrels and a member of the Organization of  Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Chavez was scheduled to leave on Tuesday for a tour of other oil producers - Libya, Qatar, Russia and Iran.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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