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White House calls on Chavez to schedule early elections

'Venezuelan people deserve better'

From John King
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

President Hugo Chavez marches next to a presidential guard Wednesday.
President Hugo Chavez marches next to a presidential guard Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House called on all parties in Venezuala to refrain from violence but also said the best way for the nation's political crisis and tensions to be resolved is for President Hugo Chavez to schedule early elections.

In a lengthy prepared statement, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the United States was in close consultations with the Organization of American States about the political unrest in Venezuela.

Fleischer said it was the position of the United States that the "Venezuelan people deserve better" but that any demonstrations against the Chavez government should be peaceful.

He said it was the view of the United States that the best way to resolve the political crisis would be for early elections.

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