Venezuela creates Hugo Chavez peace prize, awards to Russia’s Putin

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday announced the creation of peace prize in honor of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, and said he was awarding it to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The announcement comes on the same day that the Nobel Committee awarded its annual Peace Prize to Juan Manuel Santos, president of neighboring Colombia, for his role in negotiating a peace agreement with Marxist FARC rebels.

“I’ve decided to create the Hugo Chavez prize for peace and the sovereignty,” Maduro said during a televised broadcast to unveil a statue of Chavez designed by a Russian artist.

“I think President Vladimir Putin deserves this Hugo Chavez award,” he said, describing Putin as a “fighter for peace.”

Maduro said winners of the prize will receive a miniature replica of the statue

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