Nov 28 (Reuters) - Venezuela’s anti-U.S. President Hugo Chavez, who faces a tight referendum vote on Sunday to approve a constitutional overhaul, has often publicly insulted world leaders, including U.S. President George W. Bush.
Venezuela is currently caught up in diplomatic disputes with Colombia and Spain following verbal confrontations with those country’s leaders.
Here are some of his most inflammatory remarks:
“You are a servile instrument of the North American empire in Latin America ... that’s the truth President Uribe, you are a trifling pawn of the empire.”
November 27, 2007, responding to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in a diplomatic flap over Chavez being pushed out of mediation in talks with Colombia’s leftist rebels for a hostage swap.
- “You all know who Jose Maria Aznar is -- that man is a fascist ... I think a snake is more human than a fascist.”
November 10, 2007 describing the former Spanish prime minister during a summit meeting in Chile. Spanish King Juan Carlos responded by telling Chavez to “shut up,” opening a diplomatic spat that risks billions of dollars in investments.
- “The devil came here yesterday. Right here ... it smells of sulfur still today.”
Sept. 20, 2006, referring to Bush during a speech at the U.N. General Assembly.
- “How sad that the president of a people like the people of Mexico lets himself become the lapdog of the empire.”
November 9, 2005, referring to Mexico’s then-President Vicente Fox and his close ties to Washington. Both nations withdrew their ambassadors after the statement and did not restore them for over a year.
- “It seems she dreams of me ... She said she’s sad and depressed over Chavez. Oh boy! She needs to forget about me, I won’t make that sacrifice for the country.”
Jan. 19, 2005, giving a chuckling response to criticisms by Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice of his rule.
- “The lord of war is Donald Rumsfeld, one of the dogs of the devil. The devil has his dogs and this is one of his Cerberus dogs.”
Oct. 3, 2006, referring to the then-defense secretary as the three-headed dog in Greek mythology that guarded the entrance to the underworld.
- “He was an asshole to believe them.”
Feb. 29, 2004, accusing Bush of heeding advice from aides who wanted him to support a 2002 coup against Chavez.