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Sunday, 14 April, 2002, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Chavez calls for national unity
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
President Chavez kept a crucifix with him during his detention
Reinstated Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appealed for calm in a national television address on Sunday.

The following are excerpts from his address, as broadcast on Venezuelan Globovision Television:

"To God what belongs to God, to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to the people what belongs to the people.

"I begin with these words with who knows how many feelings inside me.

"I don't know how many feelings stir my breast, my soul, my mind - thoughts and feelings. In this moment I am like the multi-coloured sea.

Still in shock

"Nevertheless, I must confess to all Venezuelans, to the Venezuelan people, that I am still in shock.

"I am still assimilating this process which we can now give a name to and write down in many books for Venezuelan history and as an example to the world.

"This is a process of counter-counter-revolution...

"What has happened in Venezuela in these last few hours is truly unprecedented in the world...

We need a great deal of spiritual peace at this time for the whole country and every section of society

"The Venezuelan people and its armed forces, those soldiers of the people, have written - this is not exaggerating - a new page, what a great page for Venezuelan, Latin American, and perhaps world history.

"The people have recognised their rights. The armed forces, whose essence, whose structural heart, whose officers and troops are aware of their historical responsibilities, did not allow themselves to be confused, manipulated or deceived.

"From the core of the situation, from the soul of the situation, strength has emerged that has reinstated the legitimacy and the constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela...

Appeal for calm

"The most important thing is for Venezuelans to return home. I ask people to remain calm...

"We need a great deal of spiritual peace at this time for the whole country and every section of society.

There will be no witch hunt here. There will be no abuses here

"I make a call for peace, for calm, for common sense from all. I make a call for the whole country to reunite.

"These events that have brought blood and pain are nevertheless, and should be, a huge lesson for all of us.

"Venezuela has the respect of the international community, and the international community recognises the legitimacy and sovereignty and courage and valour of the Venezuelan people that was demonstrated here again today...

"I would like in particular to thank the international press and international organisations for their role...

Constitutional framework

"On behalf of the government, I do not come here with hate and revenge. We must make decisions and adjust many things...

"I call on local governments, governors, mayors, and all men and women who follow me on this path, not to fall into the extremes that some sectors fell into.

"We revolutionaries respect the human being, no retaliation. There will be no witch hunt here. There will be no abuses here. Things have to return to the constitutional framework...

"Venezuela needs an opposition, but an opposition loyal to the people, an opposition with true criticisms, with options for the country.

"I call on the opposition to work in the streets and towns with ethics, with good faith, accepting what has to be accepted.

Praise for army

"There are two countries here - a virtual and a real country. The virtual country set up a conspiracy in an adventurist spirit, and the real country has the spirit of reason, strength of love...

"I was not mistreated at any point during my detention, and the soldiers guarding me often burst into tears on seeing me...

"You haven't resigned? one young soldier asked me. When I replied in the negative he saluted me and declared 'In that case you are my president'...

"As for the armed forces, the central structure has proven once again that no matter how much manipulation there is, they will not fall for it.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

14 Apr 02 | Americas
Chavez returns to power
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