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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Discusses Energy on his Weekly TV/Radio Show
—UNITED NATIONS VIDEO: President Hugo Chavez' Address at U.N. on Thursday, Sept. 15, 00:22:30

Chavez Says That He Too, Is Going Nuclear

The Venezuelan president, who has become something of a champion for the promotion of nuclear power in the developing world, has announced, according to this article from Spain's El Diario Exterior, that his country has embarked on a program of its own.

October 4, 2005

El Diario Exterior - Original Article (Spanish)    

'Are We Not Worthy?'

"Brazil is carrying out nuclear research, and that is valid. Argentina is as well, and we, too, are beginning to do, research and programs in the area of the nuclear energy, with peaceful intentions of course" Chavez said on his Sunday radio and television program "Hello Mr. President."

Chavez, whose country is the fifth greatest petroleum exporter in the world, has defended Iran's right to develop a peaceful atomic energy program, although Washington is against this.

Iran's President Ahmadinejad

Iran alleges that according to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, it has the right to produce enriched uranium for civilian purposes. The United States insists that Iran's uranium enriched program is to be used for the development of an atomic bomb, but Iranian officials have repeatedly denied this, and insist that Iran's program is destined exclusively for energy production.

— UNITED NATIONS VIDEO: Iranian President Ahmadinejad's Speech [Condi Walks Out], Sept. 17, 00:29:07

The Venezuelan president said that he had recently spoken on the telephone with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Chavez said that he hoped to visit the country soon. Venezuela and Iran are members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Chavez, whose relations with the United States have deteriorated recently, is on a campaign to build commercial and political ties with new partners like Russia, Iran and China.

Chavez, a staunch critic of Washington's foreign policy, maintains that rich nations like the United States cannot keep the technology from producing nuclear energy for themselves while developing nations are struggling to produce enough power to satisfy their national needs.

The Venezuelan leader has said that every country on earth must have the right to develop atomic energy. He has pointed to Brazil's program, which has also been criticized by the United States, as an example for the nations of the rest of the world.

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