Chavez sees US hand in Russia protests

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Mexico City, Dec 29 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has blamed the US for being behind the recent wave of protests in Russia against the outcome of the Dec 4 parliamentary elections.

Chavez Wednesday said the US was attempting to destabilize Russia, and repeat the scenario in Egypt, Libya, Syria and the nations of South America.

'There goes the madness of the empire,' Chavez said on Venezuela de Television.

Political rallies have been held all across Russia since the disputed Duma elections, the largest of which, in Moscow, drew tens of thousands of protesters in an unprecedented display of opposition.

Chavez said an 'attack of the Yankee empire' had started with an international media campaign against Vladimir Putin, Russia's prime minister and the favourite candidate to win the presidential election March 4.

'The United States is trying to his undermine his leadership, split Russia and destabilize its government and realize its imperialist project to create world hegemony,' Chavez said.

He called on Venezuelans to maintain unity. 'What is happening in Russia, they will try here, because these people (the US and the Venezuelan bourgeoisie in the opposition) know they cannot win the elections, either politically or mathematically,' AVN news agency quoted Chavez as saying.

The US has categorically denied any involvement in sponsoring anti-government protest in Russia, after accusations by Putin that it had encouraged dissent by criticizing the elections.

Presidential elections are due to he held in Venezuela Oct 7, 2012.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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