Politics

Venezuela's Chavez says he would vote for Obama if American

FILE - In this July 9, 2012 file photo, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks in Caracas, Venezuela. Mitt Romney says it is “stunning and shocking” that President Barack Obama does not see Venezuela's leader as a national security threat to the U.S.  In a statement, Romney says it is disturbing to see Obama downplay the threat posed by Hugo Chavez's regime.  (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

FILE - In this July 9, 2012 file photo, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks in Caracas, Venezuela. Mitt Romney says it is “stunning and shocking” that President Barack Obama does not see Venezuela's leader as a national security threat to the U.S. In a statement, Romney says it is disturbing to see Obama downplay the threat posed by Hugo Chavez's regime. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)  (AP)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has weighed in on the U.S. presidential race, saying he prefers President Barack Obama.

Chavez also said in a televised interview that aired Sunday that he'd like to have "normal" relations with the U.S. government.

The Venezuelan leader says, in his words, "If I were American, I'd vote for Obama."

Chavez is running for re-election, seeking another six years in office in an Oct. 7 vote. Democratic U.S. President Obama faces Republican Mitt Romney in his November re-election bid.

Venezuela has had tense relations with the U.S. for the years, and the two countries' embassies have been without ambassadors since 2010.