Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today boasted of his good ties with fellow US foe Belarus,even suggesting the two countries could become part of a Soviet-style union.
Chavez held talks in Minsk with his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko marked by a chummy bonhomie that saw the pair also propose they travel the length and breadth of Venezuela in the near future.
We need to create a new union of republics, Chavez told Lukashenko,according to a statement from the Belarussian presidency.
This will not be a union of Soviet or socialist republics, he said in reference to the defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It will be free republics with their own systems,but united in a union. The maverick leader did not give further details about his vision,saying only that he and Lukashenko would discuss their strategic cooperation in Caracas soon.
Chavez was later due to depart for Russia to cement another relationship that has grown in importance over the last years,particularly in defence.
Belarus and Venezuela are on different continents but joined by a shared suspicion of the West,with Chavez a bete noire of the United States and Lukashenko once condemned as Europes last dictator by Washington.