18 Jan 2010

Chavez questions number of US troops for Haiti

3:02 pm on 18 January 2010

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has accused the United States of using the earthquake in Haiti as an excuse to occupy the devastated country.

A perennial foe of what he calls US imperialism, Mr Chavez says he does not want to diminish the humanitarian effort made by the US, but questions the need for so many troops after the quake.

The US is sending 9000 troops to Haiti, and a hospital ship, the USS Comfort, is due later this week. An aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson is already there.

US President Barack Obama says the troops will help keep order on Haiti's streets, which he describes as increasingly lawless.