Holding forth at a large rally in the western city of Maracaibo where he sang and pretended to play the guitar with a band, Chavez said opposition candidate Henrique Capriles resembled Romney, who hopes to replace Obama in the White House.Chavez went on to call Barack Obama a "good guy," surprising words for a President who has relentlessly criticized the United States and harbored conspiracy theories about potential U.S. involvement in movements against him.
"What could better explain his program?" he asked. "Maybe it's the far-right candidate in North America, Romney. It's their plan. Their plan is to subjugate Venezuela again to the service of imperialism, of capitalism."
Earlier in July, President Obama said that the Venezuelan President "has not had a serious national security impact" on the United States.
This caused Marco Rubio, the Republican with a constant eye on Latin American security issues, to pounce. "Hugo Chavez is not only a threat the Venezuelan people's freedom and democratic aspirations," Rubio said, "he has also supported Iran's regime in its attempts to expand its intelligence network throughout the hemisphere.
Chavez amended the Venezuelan constitution earlier in his tenure to allow him to run for an unprecedented third Presidential term. The Venezuelan people go to the polls on October 6.