Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has congratulated White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen for leading his team to the playoffs.

Chavez spoke to Guillen, who’s from Venezuela, by phone last week during his weekly television and radio program, “Hello President.”

“Congratulations, Oswaldo. All of us here in Venezuela are so proud of you,” Chavez said in their conversation, broadcast live nationwide in the South American country.

Guillen, the first Venezuelan manager in the majors, said his spirits were raised when his team won American League Central.

“Now I want to win more than ever,” said Guillen, whose team beat the Boston Red Sox, 14-2, in the opener of the first-round series Oct. 4 in Chicago.

Chavez, who said he once dreamed of pitching in the major leagues, told Guillen he has always been an example to follow.

“We are with you, always following your success,” Chavez said. “And we’ll be waiting for you when you come back, hopefully as world champion.”

The PWW editorial office is just blocks away from Sox Park, where White Sox fans there seconded Chavez’s congratulations. “Our paper is infused with the Sox’s fighting spirit of the underdog,” Editor Terrie Albano said. “When our staff, struggling against a deadline, hear the fireworks go off [signaling a Sox homerun] we cheer — hey, hey for the underdog!”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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