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27 Jan, 2008 01:35

Hugo Chavez in coca leaf shocker

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has surprised a summit of Latin American leaders. He accepted a handful of coca leaves from his Bolivian ally Evo Morales and chewed them in front of delegates.

Chavez went on to defend the use of the stimulant and admitted to using it every day. He said that coca was not cocaine and blamed the mafia for converting it into the addictive drug.

The US recently accused Chavez of aiding the flow of cocaine from Colombia, through Venezuela.

The president claims the drug issue is being used to taint his government.