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Venezuela's President Calls Roman Catholic Cardinal 'Coup-Mongerer'

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (File photo)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called a Roman Catholic cardinal a "bandit and coup-mongerer" after the cardinal said in a newspaper interview the president was running a dictatorship.

In a speech aired on state-run television Sunday, Mr. Chavez waved a newspaper copy of the interview in the air, and said Venezuelan Cardinal Rosalio Castillo "has the devil inside him."

In the interview published Sunday, the retired cardinal urged Venezuelan's to oppose the president.

Recent polls, however, suggest Mr. Chavez enjoys popular support because he has used national oil wealth to provide free health and education programs and inexpensive food for the poor.

President Chavez has forged numerous agreements with communist Cuba, and opponents fear that Mr. Chavez is leading Venezuela toward communism.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.