Chavez’s colourful quotations

Hugo Chavez in Chile, 10 Nov

Hugo Chavez said he was not going to shut up


King says: Shut Up

Hugo Chavez’s verbal abuse of world leaders has become legendary. At the weekend, the Venezuelan leader was told to “shut up” by the Spanish King, Juan Carlos, after attacking Spain’s former prime minister and the monarch, himself. Since his election in a landslide victory in 1998, Mr Chavez has largely fired up his rhetoric against the United States and her allies.

Below is a selection of the most memorable of Mr Chavez’s colourful quotations.

THE DEVIL COMES

Chavez at the United Nations

Hugo Chavez used his speech to lash at US influence


Speech Extract

In a dramatic speech to the United Nations in September 2006, Mr Chavez famously described George W Bush as the “Devil”.

The Devil is right at home. The Devil, the Devil himself, is right in the house.

And the Devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the Devil came here. Right here. [crosses himself] And it smells of sulphur still today.

Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the Devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.

DANGER OR DONKEY?

Mr Bush has long been the focus of Mr Chavez’s tirades. In a nationally televised speech in March 2006, the Venezuelan leader was not short of ways to described the US president:

You are ignoramus, you are a burro, Mr Danger… or to say it to you in my bad English: [switching languages] You are a donkey, Mr Danger. You are a donkey, Mr George W Bush.

[Returning to Spanish] You are a coward, a killer, a [perpetrator of] genocide, an alcoholic, a drunk, a liar, an immoral person, Mr Danger. You are the worst, Mr Danger. The worst of this planet… A psychologically sick man, I know it.

DON’T MESS WITH ME, LITTLE GIRL

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice had described Venezuela as a menace

Mr Chavez has referred to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as “little girl” on a number of occasions.

In February 2006, Ms Rice described Venezuela as a menace to regional democracy.

She spoke of an “inoculation strategy” against a country she called a “sidekick” of Iran.

During his weekly Sunday broadcast, Mr Chavez replied with a warning to Ms Rice:

Remember, little girl, I’m like the thorn tree that flowers on the plain. I waft my scent to passers-by and prick he who shakes me. Don’t mess with me, Condoleezza. Don’t mess with me, girl.

He blew a screen kiss to Ms Rice and jokingly referred to her as “Condolence.”

IMPERIALIST PAWN

Tony Blair

Tony Blair was accused of not having an morals

The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair also came in for verbal abuse. In 2006, Mr Blair urged Venezuela to abide by the rules of the international community. Mr Chavez replied that Mr Blair had flouted those very rules by invading Iraq.

Don’t be shameless, Mr Blair. Don’t be immoral, Mr Blair. You are one of those who have no morals. You are not one who has the right to criticise anyone about the rules of the international community.

You are an imperialist pawn who attempts to curry favour with Danger Bush-Hitler, the number one mass murderer and assassin there is on the planet.

Go straight to hell, Mr Blair.

Chavez rejects ‘attack’ by Blair

THE NEW HOLOCAUST

Also in 2006, Mr Chavez warned that his country would most likely sever links with Israel in protest at its military offensive in Lebanon.

He said he had “no interest” in maintaining relations with Israel, which he has accused of committing genocide.

Israel has gone mad. It’s attacking, doing the same thing to the Palestinian and Lebanese people that it has criticised – and with reason – [in the case of] the Holocaust. But this is a new Holocaust.

Venezuela ‘to sever Israel ties’

SAD, SO SAD

Mr Chavez has verbally blasted his neighbours on a number of occasions. In 2005, he described his then Mexican counterpart, Vicente Fox, as a puppy dog for United States imperialism.

Mr Chavez said Mr Fox had, as he put it, been left bleeding by a recent Summit of the Americas.

It makes one sad to see the sell-out of President Fox, really it makes one sad.

How sad that the president of a people like the Mexicans lets himself become the puppy dog of the empire.

YET ANOTHER ‘IDIOT’

Earlier this year, Mr Chavez called on the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, to resign after he condemned the Venezuelan government’s decision not to renew a private TV station’s licence.

Dr Insulza is quite an idiot, a true idiot.

The insipid Dr Insulza should resign from the secretariat of the OAS for daring to play that role.

IN PRAISE OF MUGABE

Robert Mugabe

President Chavez praised Robert Mugabe as a “freedom fighter”

At times, Mr Chavez has riled the international community not with his verbal abuse, but with his praise of controversial heads of state.

In 2004, he praised Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe as a “freedom fighter”.

I give you a replica of liberator Simon Bolivar’s sword. For you who, like Bolivar, took up arms to liberate your people.

For you who, like Bolivar, are and will always be a true freedom fighter. [Mugabe] continues, alongside his people, to confront the pretensions of new imperialists.

Mr Mugabe, who was in Venezuela for a summit of the G-15 group of developing nations, smiled as he unsheathed the sword and swung it about.

HALLOWEEN

In 2005, Mr Chavez issued an attack on Halloween, telling his countrymen that it had no place in Venezuelan society.

He used his weekly TV and radio broadcast to caution that the observance is strictly a “gringa,” or North American custom. He described it as:

Terrorism, putting fear into other nations, putting fear into their own people.

Families go and begin to disguise their children as witches. This is contrary to our way.

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