Chávez stands by his man

Chávez stands by his man

Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez can be called a lot of things, but not a fair-weather friend. El Universal reports:

"We recognize only one government, the one headed by Muammar Gaddafi. We reaffirm our solidarity with the Libyan people, our brothers who are attacked and bombed," Chávez said during a cabinet meeting broadcast by all Venezuelan radio and television stations, Efe quoted.

"See what is happening in Libya. It is a shame. Undoubtedly, we are face-to-face with the imperial madness. They are looting and robbing international reserves and oil (from Libya,)" Chávez said, when Libyan rebels have taken most of Tripoli, including the headquarters of Gaddafi, whose whereabouts are unknown.

One question this raises is why Qaddafi didn’t choose, yesterday, to get in touch with Chávez — a national leader with a high, if controversial, profile — rather than an eccentric Kalmykian chess fanatic who talks to aliens.

In other Chávez news, the Venezuelan government is planning to repatriate $11 billion in gold held in foreign banks in order to protect it from the financial crisis. As you might imagine, moving that much gold is not so easy.