Chavez allies with Lukashensko against US hegemony

Both heads of state met strengthen the "strategic alliance.

The Belarusian president gave an award to the Venezuelan leader and asked him to look after himself

Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, vowed to work with Belarus to defeat "hegemonic" US imperialism.

The Belarusian President, who was described by Chavez as a "brother" has also long railed against the influence of the United States in world affairs. However, some Western nations accuse Lukashenko of flouting freedom of speech and assembly in 14 years in power.

"You and I are fighting against the same enemy. Our peoples are struggling against the same adversary: Imperialism; we have to name it correctly: US imperialism and countries which serve as lackeys of that imperialism," Chavez said after receiving the "Friendship of Nations" award from the Belarusian leader, Reuters reported.

"Fortunately, the imperialist hegemonic aim has collapsed. American imperialism will continue to fall," Chavez added.

Lukashenko was more reserved during the ceremony held in a square named after Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar, praising Belarus' alliance with Venezuela and calling for the creation of a "multi-polar" world.

"No president of any other country has done as much as this man for our country since our independence," he said, referring to Chavez. "No one deserves this award more than you, Hugo. Please look after yourself," Lukashenko said.

In Moscow, Chavez said he hoped to purchase Russian arms to meet what he calls a US threat to Venezuela.

In Portugal

President Chavez arrived in Lisboa on Wednesday at 10 p.m. (Portugal's time) to sign several cooperation agreements and to strengthen relations with the government of Portuguese Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates. Chavez met with Socrates at the airport to talk about bilateral issues and to sign several pacts with Portuguese companies to develop infrastructure construction, water conservancy, health care, telecommunication and information projects in Venezuela.

Chavez plans to leave for Spain on Thursday or on Friday morning, after participating in a ceremony in the Portuguese capital and meet with former Portuguese socialist President Mario Soares, EFE reported. In Spain, Chavez will meet with King Juan Carlos and with Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Translated by Gerardo Cardenas