ITWASSOOTED: Chavez leads rally

Friday, November 04, 2005

Chavez leads rally

"Peoples of the Americas are rising once again, saying no to imperialism, saying no to fascism, saying no to intervention -- and saying no to death," Chavez yelled to the cheering crowd of demonstrators.

Carrying anti-U.S. signs and large images of regional figures such as Marxist rebel Che Guevara, thousands of protesters began their march on the streets and then moved into Mundialista Stadium, where Chavez led the rally.

Among the other ways Chavez has chosen to tweak Washington's nose is by embracing Cuban President Fidel Castro, who was not invited to the summit because the communist leader is not recognized as an elected head of state.

U.S. officials downplayed any Bush-Chavez subplot at the proceedings.

"This summit is not about Hugo Chavez," U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters Wednesday. "We've had some long-standing concerns about the policy for his government. This is not news."

Early in the day, thousands of protesters had welcomed a train bringing a group of fellow demonstrators from Buenos Aires -- including Bolivian presidential hopeful Evo Morales.

Chanting "Fascist Bush! You are the terrorist!" the protesters massed along the sides of the train, trying to shake hands with those inside. (Full story)

The violent protests were not limited to Argentina. Associated Press photographers took images showing police battling demonstrators in Uruguay on Friday.
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