But today on state-owned television he said if he was an American, he'd vote for Obama.
"An Obama win, I hope so. I'm going to say something and maybe they will pick it up and hope it doesn't hurt Obama. If I were from the Unites States, I would vote for Obama," Chavez said. "There's really no third choice, right Nicholas? Obama said something very rational and fair and besides I think he said it in Miami... I think he said it in Miami. He said that Venezuela is not a threat to the interests of the United States. He said it not long ago in the middle of the election campaign. Obama's adversaries are extreme right.. a total irrational way the White House is trying to go. From a point of view of the real politic, if I were from the United States, I'd vote for Obama. And I think if Obama was from .. some neighborhood here in Caracas, he'd vote for Chavez. I'm sure of it. Obama is a good guy. Obama is a good guy worth the circumstances."
Chavez, who has been in office since 1999, is himself up for re-election. He's expected to win a sweeping victory.
(Copyright © 2012 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)