Accessibility links

Chavez Criticizes Bush in ABC Interview


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has criticized President Bush in a new television interview, six months after referring to Mr. Bush as "the devil" before the United Nations General Assembly.

President Chavez said, in an exclusive interview airing Friday on the US television network ABC, that he thinks Mr. Bush is very ignorant about things actually happening in Latin America and the world. Mr. Chavez told journalist Barbara Walters that he might apologize for the remark comparing Mr. Bush to the devil. But the Venezuelan leader also said President Bush has caused "harm" by invading nations, an apparent reference to Iraq.

In the interview, President Chavez also accused the United States of supporting a military coup that briefly drove him from power in 2002. U.S. officials have denied the charge and have since accused the Venezuelan leader of, among other things, meddling in the affairs of neighboring countries and engaging in an out-sized military buildup.

Venezuela is the fifth-largest oil producer and a major supplier to the United States. Bilateral relations have grown increasingly strained under President Chavez.

During the ABC interview, Mr. Chavez reiterated his suspicion the CIA is plotting to assassinate him.

Earlier this month, the Venezuelan president said his government is increasing its efforts to detect and stop assassination plots. In a televised interview, he said he believes the CIA is out to kill him. He also called new U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte a professional killer. Negroponte in January denounced Mr. Chavez as a "threat to democracy."

XS
SM
MD
LG