President Hugo Chavez called US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld a "dog of war" on Tuesday, saying the defense chief had no business suggesting neighboring countries were concerned about Venezuela's arms purchases.
Chavez said it was disingenuous for Rumsfeld to say he knew of no country that was threatening Venezuela, insisting that the US was a threat.
The Venezuelan leader called on Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to clarify whether he shared Rumsfeld's worries about Venezuela's recent military acquisitions, including helicopters, fighter jets and assault rifles.
"If this man is saying that my neighbors are worried because the weapons that Venezuela is acquiring could go to the leftist guerrillas, I need to know, President Uribe, if you have some type of worry regarding this," Chavez said. "It should be you who says it, not the dog of war."
In his televised speech, Chavez also chuckled as he called Rumsfeld "little dog" and "Mr. Dog."