Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he disagrees with his ally, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on whether or not the Holocaust took place, though he added that the West has also engaged in its own form of denial in its failure to acknowledge the impact of colonialism on South America.
"I do not deny the Jewish Holocaust. And I condemn it," Chavez told CNN's Larry King on Thursday. "But in South America, when the Europeans arrived, there were close to 90 million Indians; 200 years later, we only had 4 million remaining. That was a holocaust. And the Europeans denied this holocaust."
During the interview, Chavez repeated his accusation of "genocide" against Israel for its actions during Operation Cast Lead, the three-week military offensive against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Venezuela broke off diplomatic ties with Israel in January to protest the offensive.
"They killed how many children in Gaza?" Chavez asked Larry King. "What is that? Genocide. Thousands of families destroyed with bombs and tanks. That's crazy. That's a genocide."
Chavez brushed off King's contention that Israel was a "small, beleaguered country."
"[It's a] small country with atomic bombs and [it is] a very aggressive country who invaded the Golan Heights and it has to give them back to Syria," Chavez said. "It has massacred entire families. It is a warmongering country."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now