CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday denied that he’s the father of a man claiming to be his illegitimate son. It was the first time Chavez responded publicly to the claims of 31-year-old Salomon Fernandez, who says his mother became pregnant after an encounter with Chavez in the city of Maracay.
The president said he has investigated the matter, including obtaining a birth certificate, but is sure he never knew Fernandez’s mother. He accused Fernandez of seeking publicity and said he has nothing to hide.
“She says we had relations,” Chavez said in a televised speech. “But when Salomon was born I hadn’t arrived to work in Maracay.”
Well, but what about his days off?
Hugo denied paternity on TV (in Spanish, via Noticias24), saying that Solomon’s mother never told him about the pregnancy or the child.
The article goes on,
Fernandez and the president share a similar build and facial features. In a photo on his Web site, Fernandez – who until recently had planned to run for governor of Carabobo state – wears a bright red button-up shirt similar to those favored by Chavez.
Chavez himself joked about the resemblance, saying his daughter Maria told him after seeing a TV interview with Fernandez: “Papa, he looks a little like you.”
A little? If he looked more like Chavez, Chavez himself would have given birth to Salomon.
But Chavez promised that he’s no deadbeat dad.
“If this boy were my son, I would have him here with me,” said the twice-divorced father of four. “I love my children.”
Fernandez, who says he hopes to meet the president, also claims he was blocked from running for governor of Carabobo as the candidate of Chavez’s party last November, for reasons that are unclear.
Solomon would get better results if he was Tim Robbins, Danny Glover, Kevin Spacey or Sean Penn. All of them are visitors to Hugo’s movie studio, Villa del Cine. Danny Glover’s being bankrolled in the tune of $20 million to produce two movies.
And now for the really crazy stuff:
In other Hugo news, journalist Mariella Salazar reports that Chavez has built a bunker that “would have been the envy of Saddam Hussein” near the laundry room of the Venezuelan Military Academy to protect himself and his cronies from any air attacks “from the Empire”. The underground facility has a meeting room, eight air conditioners and five TV sets. (I wonder if they’re plasma screens?)
Salazar reports that according to plans, in the event of a US or Colombian invasion, or of “counterrevolutionary actions” against Chavez, Cuban Armed Forces would enter Venezuela “as they did in Angola”, with the support of Venezuelan military trained in Cuba. Currently 90 Venezuelan officers are in Cuba being trained by the Cuban military, under the watchful eye of the Disip (Chavistas).