By Esteban Israel, Daniel Wallis, Peter Cooney
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is offering parents a cure for children who don't want to go to sleep. Have them watch his televised speeches.
In a television appearance on Thursday to extol the virtues of a portable computer his socialist government plans to introduce at public schools, Chavez said youngsters had stopped him in the street to tell him they saw him on television.
"It seems that there are mothers here who, instead of putting their kids to sleep with cartoons, put them to sleep with Chavez," he said.
"And the child dozes off and dozes off, and Chavez speaks and speaks and speaks. And the child falls asleep," said the loquacious leader, well known for speeches that can last for hours.
Venezuelan TV stations are interrupted regularly for Chavez's speeches, which can range from global politics to the nationalizing of businesses.
Every Sunday, he hosts his "Hello President" program, which starts at 11 a.m. and often lasts most of the day.