Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon Venezuela's ambassador Julio Garcia Montoya "for the indispensable clarification" of President Hugo Chavez' reference to the Brazilian Senate as "a parrot that repeats whatever Washington says" adding that the Brazilian Congress was "controlled by the right wing."
Lula was informed of Chavez comments while in London en route to India and immediately asked for the transcript of the exact remarks, and at the same time emphasized his full support to Brazilian institutions and rejected "any statements or attempts to question the independence, dignity or democratic principles which guide those institutions."
The Brazilian Congress this week severely questioned the Chavez regime decision to take off the air Venezuela's longest established television station RCTV, by not renewing its license, which was described as censorship. President Lula had until now avoided making public statements on the controversial issue.
President Chavez said the Brazilian Congress should concentrate on "Brazil's problems" and accused the Senate of being a right wing, subordinate of Washington.
President Lula replied saying that Chavez should "look after Venezuela", the same way he "looks after" Brazil and President George Bush "looks after" the United States. "We're all grown ups and must be responsible for our words," he added.
Chavez reacted to the Brazilian Senate statement in support of RCTV saying that they "are a parrot that repeats whatever Washington says", and warned that "it's easier for the Portuguese empire to retake Brazil than for Venezuela to return the television license which finished with Venezuela's oligarchy."
In a special session Friday, Brazilian Congressional leaders from the ruling coalition and opposition referred to Chavez as a "cheap Hitler and Mussolini" a "dictator in disguise" and a threat "to peace in the continent."
Senate president Renan Calheiros said that if "a head of state can't tolerate or live with democratic protests, probably he's against democracy".
Senator Valter Pereira from the PMDB, most influential partner of the ruling coalition, said President Lula "should put an end to the diplomacy of excessive tolerance with adventurers and adopt a definitive stance in defense of Brazil's sovereignty and the dignity of Congress."
President Chavez quick tongue and strong statements about other countries and leaders have seen him involved in controversies with Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru and indirectly Argentina.
Show Comments (3)