Fidel: 'Group of friends" mostly foes of Venezuela

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Thu Jan 23 13:44:50 MST 2003

Castro's warning  to Chavez that Washington is heightening international
pressure comes as  former U.S. president Jimmy Carter proposed a
"compromise" that would amend the constitution to stage an early election,
shorten Chavez' term, and bar the government from reorganizing the oil
industry by compelling it to retain the managers and others who have
participated in and supported two attempts to topple the government by
illegal means.  This would leave the "nationalized" company a private
fiefdom -- privatized to all intents and purposes and subject to no
effective government control.
Fred Feldman

Castro sees Group of Friends as mainly enemies

Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, has warned President Hugo Chavez Frias that the
"Friends of Venezuela" group that was set up last week, made up of Brazil,
Chile, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and the United States, contains more enemies
than it does friends. "In reality, various countries that make up the group,
helped in the April 11 coup d'etat."

The group was formed following a suggestion from Brazilian President, Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva, and was agreed to following the swearing in ceremony
for Ecuador's new President, Lucio Gutierrez. Castro then accused the US
government of creating the group so it could use it to "destroy the
revolutionary process in Venezuela."

President Chavez Frias has called on the group to be expanded to include
Algeria, China, Cuba, France and Russia, but so far his requests have been

When asked if Cuba would participate in the group, Castro replied, "what we
do depends on what Chavez decides and asks for."

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