Chavez: Venezuela wants to cooperate with next US president

But Venezuelan president warns that Bush "will be much more dangerous during the last months that he has left" in the White House.

chavez 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
chavez 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Hugo Chavez wants to work together with the next US president, the Venezuelan president said Saturday, adding that Venezuela and the United States should cooperate to resolve problems including world hunger, energy shortages and climate change. But Chavez also warned that George W. Bush "will be much more dangerous during the last months that he has left" in the White House, and accused the outgoing US president of attempting to orchestrate his assassination or spur a military rebellion in Venezuela. "Whoever is the next president of the United States, I'd like start preparing the way to start working together," said Venezuela's socialist leader. By cooperating, both countries could "help save the world from the food crisis, energy crisis and climate crisis," he added. Since taking office in 1999, Chavez has emerged as Latin America's most outspoken critic of the United States while forging strong ties with Washington's adversaries, including Syria, Iran and Cuba. Washington has long seen Chavez as a threat to democracy in Latin America, but some US officials are aiming for a pragmatic approach to diplomacy with Venezuela that would acknowledge political differences while allowing progress in areas like counter-drug cooperation. Chavez, a former paratroop commander, warned his supporters that US officials and radical anti-government groups in Venezuela "are trying to create discontent in the military ranks, using retired military officers to make contacts in the barracks to bring about a coup." The socialist leader has repeatedly accused Washington of trying to overthrow him. American officials deny trying to oust Chavez.