Chavez: Merkel would have backed Nazis

Venezuelan president lashes out at chancellor, suggesting that her party shares the ideals of Hitler.

Chavez 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Chavez 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lashed out at Germany's chancellor on Sunday, suggesting that her party shares the political ideals of Adolf Hitler. The Venezuelan leader criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel for belonging to the conservative Christian Democratic Union, calling the movement "the same right wing that supported Hitler and fascism." Chavez was on the verge of launching more insults at Merkel, but suddenly stopped short. "Ms. Chancellor, you can go to ..." he said during his weekly television and radio program, before pausing. Then he added: "Because you are a lady, I won't say any more." Chavez said that Merkel recently urged some Latin American leaders to avoid forging ties with Venezuela's government. Her original comments could not immediately be confirmed. Chavez grabbed headlines worldwide in 2006 for calling President Bush "the devil" in a speech before the UN General Assembly, and has taunted other leaders including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Spanish King Juan Carlos and former Mexican President Vicente Fox.