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Venezuela will not take Kerry's criticism seriously: official
www.chinaview.cn 2004-03-24 13:11:39

    CARACAS, March 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A Venezuelan government official said his country would not take seriously the criticism by US Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry against the Venezuelan government and its president, saying it is just Kerry'sstrategy to get more votes.

    Condemning Venezuela's President Chavez's policies as "detrimental to our interests," Kerry said on his website (www.johnkerry.com) Monday the United States should lead international pressure to persuade him to allow a recall vote.

    Kerry's remarks would only hold specific weight once he reached the White House, Tarek William Saab, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly's Permanent Commission on Foreign Affairs, was quoted as saying in an interview published by local daily El Nacional on Tuesday.

    "I think that, in any case, his victory will not mean a break-up because he is a representative of the status quo," Saab said, adding that Kerry could "soften the pro-war features of George W. Bush's government."

    Saab denied the alleged ties between Chavez and drug-cartel chiefs, which was another accusation waged by the US presidential candidate.

    "I do not think the Kelly statement is very serious because the United States authorities have already denied this connection," said the official.

    "Kerry's strategy is to get new supporters in the Florida state," Saab added.

    Saab said he preferred to wait until November when the US elections are actually held and anticipated that "the Venezuelan leader will congratulate the new president of the United States." Enditem

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