CARACAS - Socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez condemned on Saturday the "horrible repression" of anti-Wall Street protesters and termed a US Republican presidential candidate "crazy" for his criticism of Cuba and Venezuela.
Although still convalescing from cancer surgery in June followed by four rounds of chemotherapy, the 57-year-old Venezuelan president is quickly returning to the tough rhetoric and strong views that have made him famous worldwide.
Not surprisingly, Chavez expressed solidarity with American activists who have been staging rallies and marches against what they view as corporate greed by Wall Street.
The US protests, which began last month in New York and have spread to Tampa, Florida, Seattle and other cities, have mostly been peaceful but sometimes resulted in confrontations. Dozens were arrested and police used pepper spray in New York earlier this week.
"This movement of popular outrage is expanding to 10 cities and the repression is horrible, I don't know how many are in prison now," Chavez said in comments at a political meeting in his Caracas presidential palace shown on state TV.