CARACAS, Venezuela — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government has accepted a proposal by President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela to negotiate a solution to the turmoil in Libya, a top aide to Mr. Chávez said on Thursday. But confusion emerged after Colonel Qaddafi’s son reportedly rejected the plan.
The son, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, told Sky News that he valued Venezuela’s friendship but knew nothing about Mr. Chávez’s plan. Libya, he said, was capable of solving its problems without foreign intervention.
There were few details about Mr. Chávez’s plan, but Andrés Izarra, Venezuela’s information minister, said the Arab League had also expressed interest. “Venezuela will continue its contacts in the Arab world and elsewhere to find formulas for peace in Libya,” Mr. Izarra told Reuters.
Mr. Chávez has long been one of Colonel Qaddafi’s biggest supporters. The Venezuelan leader’s biographers have pointed out that while in the army, Mr. Chávez studied Colonel Qaddafi’s “Green Book,” a collection of the Libyan leader’s thinking on an alternative to capitalism that was first published in the 1970s.
After Mr. Chávez was elected president in 1998, Libya emerged as one of Venezuela’s top allies within OPEC. In recent days, Mr. Chávez has contended that the United States and European countries were preparing to invade Libya in a plan to control Libya’s oil fields.
In 2009, Mr. Chávez received Col. Qaddafi in Caracas, giving him a replica of the sword used by Simón Bolívar, the Venezuelan aristocrat who led South America’s wars of independence in the 19th century. That gesture came five years after Libya awarded Mr. Chávez its annual Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights.
Venezuela’s support for Colonel Qaddafi is fueling tension here. Diego Arria, a former Venezuelan envoy to the United Nations, said in an interview on Thursday that Venezuela, along with two of its leftist allies in the region, Cuba and Nicaragua, were isolating themselves by refusing to condemn the violence carried out by Colonel Qaddafi’s forces.
“Hugo Chávez is complicit with Qaddafi’s regime of tyranny,” Mr. Arria said at a small protest in front of the Libyan Embassy. “If his friendship with Qaddafi is greater than his responsibility as head of state, then he should go to Tripoli and help him there, but not in the name of Venezuela.”
María Eugenia Díaz contributed reporting.
Friday, 4 March 2011
Qaddafi Said to Accept Venezuelan Offer for Help