Obama finds support among Chavez faithful in Caracas

Story highlights

  • Hugo Chavez endorsed Obama, calling him a 'good guy'
  • Venezuela-U.S. relations have been rocky for more than a decade
  • Romney's harder stance on Chavez appeals to Venezuelan opposition
  • America remains Venezuela's biggest oil market
Standing in his food shack under posters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a Caracas slum, 70-year-old Miguel Bigello relays his backhanded support for Barack Obama.
"For all the deaths he's caused, he's not touched Latin America," he said. "The other guy [Mitt Romney] is too radical. He will fight here for the oil."
The elderly man is an avid supporter of Chavez, his "Comandante," and in the small wooden hut sits a carving of the face of Che Guevara as well as a poster depicting Latin American independence hero Símon Bolívar.
Girish Gupta
Bigello shares the view of his president. "If I was from the U.S., I'd vote for Obama," Chavez said buoyantly on state television just a week before he won his third six-year term two weeks ago, potentially extending his tenure to two decades. "Obama is a good guy."
Venezuela is still hungover from its own presidential election and in this fervently political country — mostly thanks to Chavez's ubiquity, strength of personality and polarizing policies — the U.S. election campaign offers some light relief after a trying few months.
The contest between Chavez and Henrique Capriles, the Venezuelan opposition's fir