Chí¡vez Calls Brazil US Parrot. Lula Tells Him to Mind His Own Country

Brazilian and Venezuelan presidents, Lula and Chávez In response to a comment made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez that the Brazilian Congress is merely a parrot of the United States, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, said that "Chavez has to look after Venezuela, I have to look after Brazil, Bush has to look after the United States and so forth."

Lula was at the official residence of the Brazilian ambassador in London when he was told by journalists that Chávez had criticized Brazil's congressmen who had asked the Venezuelan leader to renew Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV) concession, which has been closed by him.

Chavez called the Brazilian Congress a "pirate's parrot" of the United States and added: "It would be easier for the Portuguese empire to once again be established in Brazil than for Venezuela's government to return the concession, which has already ended, to an oligarchy's radio station."

Lula was careful just in case Chávez denies having said anything: "I cannot comment on a declaration of a head of state only because you are asking me a question," the told a reporter who wanted to know his reaction.

"In a situation like that I don't know if Chávez in fact said that or not. If he did, the Caracas ambassador will certainly report it to the Itamaraty (Brazil's Foreign Ministry). And then let me tell you: we are all adults and everyone is responsible for what he says."

As for the television closing, the Brazilian president believes this is a Venezuelan internal problem. "This is not a Brazilian problem," said Lula. "Brazil's problem is something else. In Brazil we have an extremely democratic treatment of the press, which is consolidated in the country.  I believe every country has to have sovereignty to do whatever has to be done. Nothing more than that."

The Venezuelan government didn't renew RCTV's concession when it expired on May 27. Since May 28, that TV network was overtaken by state-owned Televisora Venezolana Social (Tves). On May 30, the Brazilian senate passed a resolution in which Chávez is asked to return the RCTV to its owners.

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