Chavez: Libya's new UN representative a 'puppet'
CARACAS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, one of the last remaining friends of ousted Libyan strongman Moamer Gathafi, ridiculed the country's new UN representative Thursday, calling him a "puppet" and a "dummy."
The new ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, "shouldn't even have been there," Chavez told reporters in Caracas, where he made an appearance to quell rumors that he was in bad shape as he recovers from cancer treatment.
"Of course, that guy was there (at the United Nations) supported by the Yankees and NATO, that's why he sat there. They sat him there. He's a puppet, a dummy," said Chavez.
According to the Venezuelan leader, "right now there is no government in Libya."
Libya's interim leadership made its debut at the UN General Assembly last week after taking up the country's UN seat from the Gathafi regime.
UN members overwhelmingly approved their membership, but several leftist Latin American governments -- including Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela -- opposed the move.
Chavez, 57, has defended Gathafi since the start of the uprising against his regime in February, accusing NATO of using the conflict to gain control over Libya's oil.
The whereabouts of Gathafi, who ruled the north African nation with an iron fist for more than four decades, are unknown.
In 2004, Chavez was awarded the Al-Gathafi International Prize for Human Rights, a prize granted by the Libyan leader. Cuba's Fidel Castro and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega have also won the award.