President Hugo Chavez said the United States suffered a humiliating defeat in its move to condemn Venezuela internationally for removing an opposition-aligned TV station from the airwaves.
Chavez began a news conference by playing a video of heated debate between his foreign minister and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at an Organization of American States meeting in Panama on Tuesday. The OAS ignored a US request to investigate his government's removal of Radio Caracas Television from the air.
"A great defeat for the empire," said Chavez, who said OAS member countries had refused "to play (Washington's) game" and instead backed his government.
"It was the greatest defeat - a moral defeat, a political defeat," said Chavez, who maintains the government made a proper legal decision not to renew the channel's license.