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Summary of Hugo Chavez' speech # 187

By Sol Maria Castro,

In his Sunday radio and television show from; president Hugo Chávez:

· announced the country will return to its agricultural roots with over $600 million destined to the first stage of this mission in agriculture.

· showed his satisfaction at the growth tendency of GDP and international reserves while interest rates and inflation decrease.

· summoned the people to defend the various missions (Barrio Adentro, Robinson, Sucre, and Vuelvan Caras) and exhorted them to be ready to defend the sovereignty of the country, even with the arms if it were necessary. President Chávez said “every Venezuelan should learn how to use a rifle” to act as reserve when necessary.

· denied that Army soldiers are being "fried" for having signed a presidential recall petition, and confirmed General Silva’s statements that it was an accident, claiming the soldiers, only had “superficial injuries.”. NB: One of those soldiers with “superficial injuries” died this morning, Orlando Bustamante, and another one is in a coma and expected to die in the next few hours (Pedreáñez).

· said he opposed the postponement of the regional elections, “but if the (National Electoral Council) decides it must be in September, we have no choice," he said.

· accused the Venezuelan Catholic Church of aligning themselves “as Judases with the most nefarious interests of the Venezuelan capitalist oligarchy” and underrated the latest message of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, arguing the opinions of the Church do not represent the feeling of the majority. "When, as a Catholic and a Christian, I read and hear the expressions of the Catholic hierarchy, I feel like repeating Jesus’ words: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,'" said the president holding a Christ in the Cross firmly with both hands.

· thanked the popular organization, Asociación Libertadores” for their initiative to propose his name for the Nobel Peace Prize, “I thank you for the initiative… however, there is a personal reflection: I think that with all your noble effort and initiative, there are more important things to do than asking the Nobel Peace Prize for Chávez,” he said. He added he would not restrain their initiative, though.

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