Chávez backs Ahmadinejad amid Iranian protests

Venezuela's Hugo Chávez is one of the few world leaders to stand by Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, even as hundreds of thousands take to the streets of Iran's cities to protest his re-election claim. A Venezuelan foreign ministry statement, "in the name of the people," hailed the "extraordinary democratic development" that resulted in Ahmadinejad's victory.

"The Bolivarian government of Venezuela expresses its firm rejection of the ferocious and unfounded campaign to discredit, from abroad, that has been unleashed against Iran