Author Chomsky eager to meet Venezuela's Chavez

Fri Sep 22, 6:50 PM ET

Author Noam Chomsky, whose three-year-old book shot to the top of the bestseller list after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez touted it at the United Nations, reportedly said he would like to meet Chavez.

"I would be happy to meet him," said Chomsky according to the New York Times.

The American author told the Times he received "10,000 e-mails" after Chavez recommended his 2003 book "Hegemony or Survival" in remarks before the United Nations General Assembly.

Chavez made headlines this week for railing against US "imperialism" in the eyebrow-raising speech.

Chomsky, 77, told the newspaper he would not use the same words -- "alcoholic," "sick man" and "tyrant" -- that Chavez used to describe President George W. Bush.

But he said he understood where the Venezuelan president was coming from.

"The Bush administration backed a coup to overthrow his government," Chomsky said. "Suppose Venezuela supported a military coup that overthrew the government of the United States? Would we think it was a joke?"

The leftist author, a linguistics scholar and longtime critic of US foreign policy, told the Times he is "quite interested" in Chavez's policies and finds many of them "quite constructive."