Presenter (Robin Lustig):
There was a referendum in Venezuela last year, your political opponents gathered many thousands of signatures to force a referendum which was designed to force you from office. They lost, you won, you are still in office. Now it is said that people whose names are on those lists, calling for the referendum, can’t get government jobs, are sometimes disqualified from social welfare programmes, and find themselves discriminated against?President Hugo Chavez:
That’s totally false. Those who say that are the very people who were trying to demonise my government. We have a fully democratic country, I went to Brazil recently and Lula, a good friend of mine, said in a speech, Venezuela does not only have a democracy, but perhaps there is an excess of democracy in Venezuela. That’s what he said. In Venezuela you can say whatever you want. There are a group of people who lost the referendum, if you go to Venezuela they will say that we had a fraud, we won six million against four million, and those elections were observed by the Organisation of American States, the United Nations, the (?) organisations and international observers from all over the world. And they said, these are fair elections, except those who lost, they said it was a fraud and they have never admitted that they failed. They said that those who signed have no rights but that is totally false, that’s part of a campaign going around the world, they are trying to present me as a tyrant, present my government as one that protects terrorists and violates freedom. I invite you, as I said before, to come to Venezuela and spend the time you wish, and talk to whoever you want, so you see the reality. Recently the Spanish President Zapatero went to Venezuela and went to the palace and said to me, Chavez, I’ve been told that recently you have had some restraints of freedom of speech, but I have just watched TV for an hour and I have realised that this is totally untrue.El que tenga ojos, que lea.