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Chavez: US using quake in Haiti for occupation

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says that the US is using the devastating quake that hit Haiti last week to occupy the Caribbean nation.

“The United States government is using a humanitarian tragedy to militarily occupy Haiti. I read somewhere that they even occupied the government palace,” Chavez said as he launched a cable car system for poor neighborhoods in Caracas, Dpa reported on Wednesday.

He added that the United States tried to do something similar with Venezuela in 1999, after heavy rain caused mudslides that buried whole villages in the coast of the state of Vargas.

Chavez said he found out that 1,000 Marines were on their way, at the request of the then Venezuelan defense minister, Raul Salazar. He himself told the US ambassador that he would not allow them to enter the country, Chavez said of the 1999 incident.

He said Venezuela, one of the world’s largest exporters of crude oil, would send oil supplies to Haiti to help the victims of the quake.

“We are willing to do all we can for Haiti, for its people, respecting its sovereignty, its independence. As (former Cuban leader) Fidel (Castro) said in his article, it would be good for us to ask ourselves why Haiti is so poor. Ask the empire (US) that has invaded it as many times as it wished,” he said.

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