US President Barack Obama and Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez are both in reelection fights, and Chavez said Sunday if he could vote in the US, he’d be voting for Obama over challenger Mitt Romney. Moreover, Chavez said if Obama were Venezuelan, he thinks he would vote for him.
The Associated Press reports that Chavez also hopes for more normalized relations with the US soon. Though the two nations lack ambassadors in their respective embassies, the US is the top buyer of oil from Venezuela.
“I hope this doesn’t harm Obama, but if I was from the United States, I’d vote for Obama,” the socialist Chavez said, according to Reuters. “Obama is a good guy … I think that if Obama was from Barlovento or some Caracas neighborhood he’d vote for Chavez.”
Chavez has often criticized Washington during his 14 years in office. While George Bush was president, Chavez called him the devil, and a drunk. After at first reaching out to Obama, the two shook hands at a summit once, Chavez soured and called the US president the “shame of Africans.”
“After our triumph and the supposed, probable triumph of President Obama, with the extreme right defeated here and there, I hope we could start a new period of normal relations with the United States,” Chavez went on to say.
Chavez is seeking another six-year term as Venezuela’s president against challenger Henrique Capriles.
The U.S. Embassy in Caracas has been without an ambassador since July 2010 and Chavez did not approve the last person Obama appointed. In response, the US revoked the visa of the Venezuelan ambassador.