Venezuela's Chavez condemns US role in Libya

August 21, 2011 - 8:05 PM
APTOPIX Venezuela Chavez

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez gestures during a religious event in solidarity with his struggle against cancer at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011. Chavez condemned NATO's bombings in Libya, saying the aim is to seize control of the country's oil wealth. He said U.S. and other powers had sought excuses to try to take over the country. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday condemned NATO's bombings in Libya, saying the aim is to seize control of the country's oil wealth.

Chavez has been a staunch defender of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. He did not say whether he had been in contact with the Libyan leader in recent days and did not refer directly to the rebels who entered the capital of Tripoli on Sunday.

"Let's pray to God for the Libyan people," Chavez said during a televised speech.

Chavez condemned the latest NATO airstrikes in the country, as well as the roles of the United States and some European nations.

"Today they dropped I don't know how many bombs, and they're falling in a shameless and open way... on schools, hospitals, homes, work places, factories, farm fields at this very moment," Chavez said. "They're practically demolishing Tripoli with their bombs."

He said U.S. and other powers had sought excuses to try to take over the country.

"It's the excuse to intervene and seize a country and its riches," Chavez said.

The leftist leader has repeatedly condemned NATO's role in Libya and recently called the country's rebels a "group of terrorists."