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Hugo Chavez: Libya Has No Government

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HUGO CHAVEZ LIBYA
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in September 2011. | Getty
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CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday that he won't recognize Libya's new government and predicted more war in the country.

The Venezuelan leader condemned the killing of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi, whom he had considered a friend. He defended Gadhafi throughout the conflict and strongly criticized NATO's military involvement in the country.

"For us, there is no government in Libya," Chavez told reporters at the presidential palace.

"We don't recognize the government that NATO has installed. It's installed a government through bombs in Libya and through a genocide ... and an assassination," Chavez said.

"Independently of who the president was, whether you or others didn't like him ... he was the president of Libya," Chavez said.

He said the conflict has left behind a shattered country, and he predicted that it isn't over.

"Libya isn't under anyone's control. A war will start there now," Chavez said. "Well, it already started, imposed by NATO and the United Nations Security Council."

"They destroyed that country, and now there's chaos there, violence everywhere," he added.

The Venezuelan president demanded peace negotiations during the conflict in Libya and denounced the rebels as "terrorists." Gadhafi at one point sent Chavez a letter thanking him for his support.

Chavez said after Gadhafi's death that he would be remembered as a martyr.

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