The Washington Times - October 1, 2012, 08:33AM

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has handed President Obama an endorsement he is not likely to tout on the campaign trail, telling state television that “I hope this doesn’t harm Obama, but if I was from the United States, I’d vote for Obama.”

The socialist, who referred to Mr. Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush, as “the devil,” also said he expected Mr. Obama would return the favor if he could in the Venezuelan elections next weekend, when Mr. Chavez is running for a new six-year term.

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“Obama is a good guy … I think that if Obama was from Barlovento or some Caracas neighborhood, he’d vote for Chavez,” Mr. Chavez said. “After our triumph and the supposed, probable triumph of President Obama, with the extreme right defeated here and there, I hope we could start a new period of normal relations with the United States.”