Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he hopes the United States has transparent elections in November and has advised the US to scrap the indirect Electoral College system so it can become a more democratic society.
Chavez made the remarks in Havana on Tuesday in response to US President Barack Obama’s recent statement, in which he said he hoped that Venezuela’s upcoming elections would be transparent.
The Venezuelan president, who traveled to Cuba on April 14 for his latest round of cancer treatment, was appearing in video images for the first time in 10 days.
The video was released by Venezuelan state television.
"Obama says he is hoping for transparent elections (in Venezuela). What we are hoping for is that there are transparent elections in the United States. We wish they had direct public votes there. They choose delegates, the Electoral College. They are two degree elections. Democratize that country and stop the repression there in the United States," Chavez said.
In the United States a president is not elected directly by the people but by the Electoral College. This means a candidate may be elected despite losing the popular vote.
Chavez praised the Venezuelan electoral system, saying, “I say there's no other electoral system on this planet that's as transparent, as efficient, as good as ours."
He also told Venezuelans not to pay attention to rumors about his health.
Chavez proclaimed, "I feel very, very happy within this treatment process."
In late March, the Venezuelan leader began radiation treatment in Cuba after undergoing an operation in February that removed a second cancerous tumor from his pelvic region. Chavez’s first tumor, which was baseball-sized, was removed last June and then he received chemotherapy.
Chavez added, "We continue in the treatment, facing the difficulties, governing, making decisions on policies."