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Old 09-21-2006, 08:48 AM
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Default Venezuela President Says Bush Committing Genocide In Iraq

Venezuela President Says Bush Committing Genocide In Iraq

Thursday September 21st, 2006 / 12h10

NEW YORK (AP)--Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday evening that U.S. President George W. Bush has committed genocide during the war in Iraq and should be put on trial.

"The president of the United States should go before an international tribunal," Chavez said as applause filled the hall at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

"I'm not an enemy of the United States. I'm a friend of the United States... the people of the United States," Chavez said during his speech at the college, which included union organizers, professors and others. "They're two very different things - you the people of the United States, and the government that's installed there."

He said he hopes Americans choose an "intelligent president" in the future.
Singer and activist Harry Belafonte introduced Chavez at the event, while former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark also attended, among supporters who waved Venezuelan flags and chanted Chavez's name. The Venezuelan leader signed autographs as a crowd rushed to him after the speech.

He also referred to his past threats that he could cut off oil exports to the U.S. if it tries to oust him.
"Believe me, if I were to decide tomorrow to stop sending oil to the United States ... the price would go up to $150, $200 a barrel. But we don't want to do it, and we aren't going to do it," Chavez said. "We ask only for respect."

Chavez lambasted the U.S. government for trying to block Venezuela's campaign for a seat in the U.N. Security Council. He said if chosen over U.S.-favorite Guatemala in a secret-ballot U.N. vote next month, Venezuela would be "the voice of the Third World." The U.S. argues that Venezuela - closely allied with Iran, Syria and Cuba - would be a disruptive force.

He also said the U.N. in its current system "doesn't work" and is "antidemocratic." He called for the world body to be overhauled, saying the U.S. government's "immoral veto" had allowed recent Israeli bombings of Lebanon to continue unabated for more than a month.

Chavez's remarks came hours after he called Bush "the devil" in a fiery speech to the U.N. on Wednesday.

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