08-09-2006, 09:06 AM
Quote:CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday Venezuela would likely sever relations with Israel in protest over Israel's military campaign against Lebanon.
Chavez, a harsh critic of the United States who frequently expresses sympathy for the Palestine people, announced last week he had ordered the withdrawal of Venezuela's ambassador in Israel.
Israel withdrew its chief diplomat in Caracas in response.
"We have withdrawn our diplomatic representation from the state of Israel and they have also withdrawn their ambassador," Chavez said during an evening speech. "The most likely next step will be for us to break diplomatic relations, because I have no interest in maintaining diplomatic relations, or offices, or businesses, or anything with a state like Israel."
Chavez has openly criticized Israeli incursions into Gaza and Lebanon, and has blamed the Middle East conflict on an "Israeli elite" and U.S. influence in the region.
Bless the man.