Reaching into the history books for undiplomatic gibes





In the lexicon of political insults it will take some beating. Already known for his somewhat colourful use of language Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has probably written himself into the history books for a new sidewipe at his US counterpart George Bush.

In the latest salvo in the war of words between the two countries Mr Chávez described Mr Bush as "evil," a "criminal" but then added that he was "more dangerous than a monkey with a razor blade"...He added: "I pray to God for the people of the United States. I hope they're capable of liberating themselves from the tyranny they have. Who would be the greater fascist -- Hitler or Bush? They might end up in a draw."

Insults have been fired between US politicians and Venezuela for some months now. Nancy Pelosi, the new speaker of the house and a Democrat, said of Mr Chávez's earlier remarks at the UN that "he fancies himself as a modern day Simón Bolívar, but all he is an everyday thug."

Politicians have swapped insults for generations. In Britain, the former Liberal MP Clement Freud once described Margaret Thatcher as "Attila the Hen". Former French president François Mitterrand said: "She has the mouth of Marilyn Monroe and the eyes of Caligula."



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