President Hugo Chavez called U.S. President George W. Bush a "coward,"
a "donkey" and a "drunkard" Sunday, unleashing a torrent
of insults days after Bush labelled him a demagogue.
Chavez also said world opinion is turning against the U.S.-led war in Iraq,
and offered a public prayer that Washington cease to pose a threat to the world.
"I'm going to tell you something Mr. Danger: You are a coward, do you
know that?" Chavez said, referring to Bush. "Why don't you go to Iraq
to command your armed forces? It's very easy to command them from so far away."
In his national security report issued Thursday, Bush said: "In
Venezuela, a demagogue awash in oil money is undermining democracy and seeking
to destabilize the region."
The 49-page report touched only briefly on Venezuela, listing the situation
in the country among regional challenges that "demand the world's attention."
On Sunday, in his harshest words for Bush in months, Chavez also called the
U.S. president "a donkey" - which Venezuelans use as a synonym for
"idiot" - and "a drunkard."
"You are a donkey, Mr. Bush," said Chavez, speaking in English during
his weekly television and radio program, Hello President.
"You're an alcoholic Mr. Danger, or rather, you're a drunkard."
Videos showing children at peace demonstrations, U.S. soldiers in combat, and
footage of a recent antiwar protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Caracas were
broadcast after Chavez condemned the war.
"The world is opposed to your war, Mr. Danger," said Chavez who hosted
the program from Venezuela's sun-baked plains.
Relations between Caracas and Washington have been tense in recent months.
U.S. officials have voiced concerns over the health of Venezuela's democracy,
and Chavez has accused the United States of conspiring to topple him or invade
his country to take control of its oil industry.