Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave this statement on July 5, 2012, on the 201st anniversary of Venezuela's independence.
[Editor's Note: Click here for more CFR 2012 campaign resources, which examine the foreign policy and national security dimensions of the presidential race.]
"My best wishes are with Venezuelans around the world today as they celebrate the 201st anniversary of their nation's independence. Americans of Venezuelan heritage have greatly enriched the culture and history of the United States. We acknowledge, however, that Venezuela's current leader dishonors the ideals of liberty upon which Venezuela was founded. Hugo Chavez is leading a movement in Venezuela and throughout Latin America that seeks to undermine freedom, diminish prosperity, and expand tyranny. Today is a day to reaffirm our commitment to defending democracy and to stand with those in Venezuela and elsewhere who bravely speak out for the rights of their countrymen."