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Chavez calls Bush 'the Devil himself'

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Last updated on: September 21, 2006 00:27 IST
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez launched a scathing attack on US President George W Bush at the UN Assembly on Wednesday morning, describing him as the "Devil."

Calling Bush "a liar" and a "tyrant," Chavez condemned American "hegemony" and said US "...imperialism is a threat to the survival of the human race"

"We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated," he said, demanding drastic UN reforms to curb American influence.

Chavez began his speech by brandishing a book by Noam Chomsky, " of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, and this is one of his most recent books, Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States."

"It reads easily, it is a very good book, I'm sure Madame (President) you are familiar with it. It appears in English, in Russian, in Arabic, in German. I think that the first people who should read this book are our brothers and sisters in the United States, because their threat is right in their own house. 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. And it smells of sulfur still today."

This was greeted by applause from the audience. The seat for the American representative was empty.

"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." Chavez continued.

"I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyse yesterday's statement made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world. An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even propose a title -- 'The Devil's Recipe'."

Bush promoted "a false democracy of the elite" and a "democracy of bombs," he declared.

"We want ideas to save our planet, to save the planet from the imperialist threat. And hopefully in this very century, in not too long a time, we will see this, we will see this new era, and for our children and our grandchildren a world of peace based on the fundamental principles of the United Nations, but a renewed United Nations. And maybe we have to change location. Maybe we have to put the United Nations somewhere else; maybe a city of the south. We've proposed Venezuela," he said.

"You know that my personal doctor had to stay in the plane. The chief of security had to be left in a locked plane. Neither of these gentlemen was allowed to arrive and attend the UN meeting. This is another abuse and another abuse of power on the part of the Devil. It smells of sulfur here, but God is with us and I embrace you all."

The Venezuelan president, known to be close to ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro, has often accused the US of plotting to overthrow his government.

But America, a major consumer of Venezuelan oil, refused to be provoked.

"Not worthy of reaction. Not worthy of comment," AFP quoted US national security spokesman Frederick Jones as saying.

External link: Full speech