Spain's King Juan Carlos told Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday to "shut up" during closing speeches by leaders from the Latin world that brought the Ibero-American summit to an acrimonious end.And this was from fellow leftists too. Chavez is slowly pissing off even his friends, who are getting tired of Chavez’s bombastic grandstanding, his increasingly rude behavior and use of undiplomatic language. Slowly and surely, Chavez will become such an embarrassment that world leaders will stay away in droves.
"Why don't you shut up?" the king shouted at Chavez, pointing a finger at the president when he tried to interrupt a speech by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Zapatero was in the middle of a speech at the summit of mostly leftist leaders from Latin America, Portugal, Spain and Andorra, and was criticizing Chavez for calling former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a fascist.
Chavez, a leading leftist foe of Washington, also attacked Spanish businessman Gerardo Diaz Ferran earlier in the week after he questioned the safety of foreign investments in Venezuela.
"I want to express to you President Hugo Chavez that in a forum where there are democratic governments ... one of the essential principles is respect," Zapatero told the leaders gathered in the Chilean capital, Santiago.
Chavez thrives because he's become the chief Bush hater. Chavez needs Bush. Chavez’s popularity feeds off Bush’s unpopularity. What will happen when a new U.S. president is sworn in little over a year? Democrat or Republican, the new president will have a more pragmatic worldview, even with Chavez’s Venezuela. Will Chavez be singing the same tune then?