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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:08 am
by st louis steve
* Both men seeking re-election in imminent ballots
CHAVEZ TO OBAMA: I'D VOTE FOR YOU, AND YOU FOR ME (TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE.........) Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:33pm EDT * Socialist Chavez has kind words for U.S. leader
* Political ties remain strained despite oil trade
By Helen Murphy
CARACAS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - With both presidents facing tight re-election fights, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez gave a surprise endorsement to Barack Obama on Sunday - and said the U.S. leader no doubt felt the same.
"I hope this doesn't harm Obama, but if I was from the United States, I'd vote for Obama," the socialist Chavez said of a man he first reached out to in 2009 but to whom he has since generally been insulting.
Chavez is running for a new six-year term against opposition challenger Henrique Capriles, while Obama seeks re-election in November against Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Venezuela's election is next weekend.
"Obama is a good guy ... I think that if Obama was from Barlovento or some Caracas neighborhood, he'd vote for Chavez," the president told state TV, referring to a poor coastal town known for the African roots of its population.
Chavez is one of the world's most strident critics of Washington and his 14 years in office have been characterized by diplomatic spats and insults at the White House.://