[QODLink]
Americas
Latin Americans divided over Libya
Venezuela's foreign minister says he "repudiates violence" in Libya, but that the conflict merits "objective" study.
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2011 08:57 GMT
Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo reports from Sao Paulo on region's divided reaction to Gaddafi's crackdown on protests

Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has praised Libya's "independence", saying the north African country's longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi is facing a civil war in his country.

"Long live Libya and its independence! Kadhafi faces a civil war!" Chavez said in a Twitter messageon Friday, his first reaction to the unrest shaking Libya since February 15.

Chavez is Gaddafi's main ally in Latin America. Both leaders regularly make public condemnations of US "imperialism" and have exchanged visits in recent years.

Ties are so close that Gaddafi was rumoured on Monday to have fled to Caracas, claims later denied.

Chavez, who visited Libya in October, was in contact with Gaddafi during the popular uprising that led to the resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on February 11 after three decades in power, Venezuelan officials said.

"[We demand] the immediate severing of diplomatic ties [with Gaddafi's] genocidal dictatorship"

Statement from Nicaragua's Liberal Party

Separately, Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan foreign minister, told the National Assembly that Venezuela "repudiates the violence" in Libya, but said the conflict merits "objective" study.

"Conditions are being created to justify an invasion of Libya, and the central objective of that invasion ... is to take away Libya's oil," Maduro said.

Western governments have demanded punishment for abuses in Libya - but "why don't they ask for the same punishment for those who bomb innocent civilians every day in Iraq or Afghanistan?" he asked. "They are just as murderous."

In Latin America, only Daniel Ortega, the leftist Nicaraguan president, has also openly expressed solidarity with Gaddafi.

But Nicaragua's main opposition group, the Liberal Party, issued a statement earlier demanding "the immediate severing of diplomatic ties" with Gaddafi's "genocidal dictatorship".

Al Jazeera is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.