Venezuela’s Chavez calls Bush “the devil”

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2006-09-20 23:18:47

Something’s afoot…… Venezuela’s Chavez calls Bush “the devil”Wed Sep 20, 2006 05:36 PM ET By Daniel Trotta UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called George W. Bush “the devil himself” at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, saying the U.S. president had left the smell of sulfur hanging in the chamber from his appearance the previous day. The U.S. rival and close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro used his speech before the assembly to accuse the United States of myriad evils such as helping render the U.N. Security Council worthless by robbing small nations of power. “The devil himself is right in the house. And the devil came here yesterday. Right here,” said Chavez, who also called Bush a “world dictator” in need of a psychiatrist. Chavez’s remarks were greeted with applause by the U.N. delegates. Speaking from the same podium from which Bush had addressed the assembly on Tuesday, Chavez said “it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of.” He repeatedly accused the United States of imperialism and hegemony, saying in his speech and a news conference that America was bent on world domination while plundering the oil supply. “We’re not going to address that kind of comic strip approach to international affairs,” said John Bolton, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “I am not going to dignify a comment by the Venezuelan president to the president of the United States. I think it is not becoming for a head of state.” Chavez has attempted to thwart Washington throughout Latin America, leading a resurgence of left-wing populism. Recently he has expanded his role, backing U.S. opponents worldwide. He has defended Iran’s nuclear program and embraced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the Iranian’s visit to Caracas on Sunday, just before the assembly began. “The world is waking up,” Chavez said. “I have the feeling, dear world dictator, that you are going to live the rest of your days as a nightmare because the rest of us are standing up, all those who are rising up against American imperialism.” Chavez began his speech by displaying a copy of American writer Noam Chomsky’s 2004 book “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance” and recommending it to U.N. delegates and U.S. citizens. HELL BENT FOR OIL At a news conference, Chavez criticized U.S. energy policy for wasting fuel and said U.S. opposition to the governments of Iran and Venezuela, like its motivation to invade Iraq, was based on gaining greater access to oil. OPEC member Venezuela is the world’s fifth largest oil exporter. “Imagine if the United States, your president, the devil, were to invade Iran or Venezuela. The price of petroleum could reach $200 with any conflict in addition to those already occurring,” Chavez said. He also told the U.N. delegates domination of the U.N. Security Council by world powers had rendered the body worthless. “I don’t think anybody in this room could defend the system. Let’s be honest. The U.N. system born after the Second World War collapsed. It’s worthless,” Chavez said. Later he declared the United Nations beyond repair, saying it had been created for the Cold War and now only served as a debating society and place for world leaders to meet and give speeches. “There is no way to save it,” Chavez told reporters. “There is no room for reform. This is a mortal disease.” (Additional reporting by Sue Pleming)

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