Venezuelan Prez to move office into Gaddafi’s tent

Hugo Chavez wants to free up space in presidential palace for storm victims.

Caracas: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he will set up camp in a tent given to him by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi so he can free up space in the presidential palace for more homeless storm victims.

Chavez raised the idea of moving his office to the tent on Friday, telling aides on state television: "Put up the tent that Gaddafi gave me."

He said it could be erected in the gardens at the Miraflores Palace, and added: "Set it up for me because I`m moving into that tent."

Chavez has already taken in 26 families who lost homes in recent heavy rains, putting them up in the quarters of the presidential guard.

He told one of his Cabinet ministers during a visit to a disaster shelter that aides should start preparing one of his offices in the palace to house evacuees. "We can stick some beds there, and there`s a bathroom," he said.

Chavez has been overseeing relief efforts after flooding and landslides that have killed 38 people and driven thousands from their homes.

Gaddafi used one of his signature Bedouin tents when he visited Venezuela last year for a summit meeting, setting up camp next to the hotel pool and receiving Chavez and other guests.

Bureau Report