Chavez welcomes Putin’s victory in Russia
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez welcomed Sunday Vladimir Putin’s victory in Russian presidential elections, vowing to deepen “strategic” ties between the two countries.
A statement issued by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said Chavez personally congratulated Prime Minister Putin, calling him “a driving force behind strategic ties of cooperation between Venezuela and Russia.”
Chavez underscored “strong ties of friendship” between him and the Russian leader. “Wishing President Putin and his team all the best, the Venezuelan government reaffirms its strong commitment to deepening strategic relations between the two countries,” the Foreign Ministry said.
Putin won nearly 64 percent of the vote in Sunday’s polls, well ahead of his nearest rival, the Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, who won 17.18 percent.
Earlier Sunday, Chavez admitted publicly for the first time that his cancer had returned and said he faces a new round of radiotherapy treatment after having a second malignant tumour removed in Cuba. The Venezuelan leader has been in power since 1999. -AFP