Caracas: President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday that Venezuela will continue to recognise Muammar Gaddafi as the leader of Libya and will refuse to recognise a rebel-led interim government.
Chavez spoke as Libyan rebels blasted through the gates of Gaddafi`s compound in the Libyan capital of Tripoli after hours of intense fighting. Gaddafi`s whereabouts remained unclear.
"We recognise only one government: the one led by Muammar Gaddafi," said Chavez, speaking during a televised address.
He condemned the roles of NATO and the US government in Libya`s conflict.
"Without a doubt, we`re facing imperial madness," Chavez said, condemning NATO`s airstrikes.
Chavez accused the US and European countries of using a strategy of fomenting internal conflict in order to seize control of the country`s oil riches.
"Getting the dogs to fight. Arming here, arming there, and later bombing it and we take that country," Chavez said, describing that as the US government`s aim in the conflict.
"They loot it and they take the international reserves and the oil," Chavez said. "This destroys international law and takes the world back to the Stone Age."
Chavez has been a staunch defender of Gaddafi throughout the conflict and recently called the country`s rebels a "group of terrorists”.
Chavez did not say whether he had been in contact with Gaddafi in recent days.