Monday, January 19, 2009
CAMPO CARABOBO, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday Barack Obama had the "stench" of his predecessor as U.S. president and was at risk of being killed if he tries to change the American "empire."
Most world leaders expect a new era of U.S. foreign relations when Obama, a Democrat, is sworn in as president on Tuesday after Republican George W. Bush's eight years in the White House.
But Chavez said frayed ties with Washington were unlikely to improve despite the departure of Bush, who the Venezuelan leader has often called the "devil."
"I hope I am wrong, but I believe Obama brings the same stench, to not say another word," Chavez said at a political rally on a historic Venezuelan battlefield.
"If Obama as president of the United States does not obey the orders of the empire, they will kill him, like they killed Kennedy, like they killed Martin Luther King, or Lincoln, who freed the blacks and paid with his life."
Obama, who will be the first black president in U.S. history, was given Secret Service protection on the campaign trail earlier than is customary for candidates and security for Tuesday's inauguration is extremely tight....(Click for remainder).