- Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez called the United
States a "terrorist state" and said the United Nations headquarters
should be moved away from New York.
- The outspoken Chavez littered his speech to the UN
world summit with anti-US comments which were strongly applauded. The ally
of Cuba's President Fidel Castro followed this up with a press conference
at which he accused the US administration of supporting terrorism.
- Tensions have been mounting between the United States
and Venezuela for months.
- President George W. Bush's government has accused
Chavez of becoming a destabilizing influence in Latin America. Chavez has
in turn threatened to cut off his country's valuable oil supplies to the
- Their dispute has been spiced up by a call from US
conservative evangelist, Pat Robertson, for the United States to assassinate
Chavez, a comment he later apologized for.
- Chavez told the UN General Assembly that the United
States was "a country that does not respect the resolutions of this
- To loud applause he took up the call of Latin American
revolutionary Simon Bolivar for the UN headquarters to be moved to "an
international city" in the southern hemisphere.
- "It is time to think about an international
city," he said, just before being told that his speech had gone beyond
the allotted 15 minutes for each of the 170 heads of state and government
leaders at the summit.
- Chavez took the opportunity to fire a new assault
at the US leader, claiming that Bush had been given 20 minutes.
- At a press conference after his speech, Chavez said
that the United States was a "terrorist state" because of its
actions in Iraq, Robertson's assassination call and for harboring Luis
Posada Carriles, who is wanted for the bombing of a Cuban airliner.
- "It is a terrorist state. It is a government
that violates all rules and behaves shamelessly," he said.
- "The United States is the champion of double
standards. The United States' government defends terrorism. They talk of
the fight against the terrorism, but they commit terrorism, state terrorism,"
- The Venezuelan president said the United States had
used napalm in Iraq and protects Posada Carriles, who is being held in
the United States on immigration charges.
- The Venezuelan leader arrived in New York on Thursday
morning having kept in doubt whether he would attend the summit at all.
- Chavez charged Tuesday that the United States had
denied visas to his security and medical teams. He also complained that
his presidential jet had been ordered to an airport far from the UN building.
- Stepping up the diplomatic hostilities, as Chavez
arrived, the US administration released a report saying that Venezuela
had "failed demonstrably" to meet its counter-narcotics obligations
over the past year.