Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chavez mocks Clinton as "blond Condoleezza"

Updated on : Saturday, March 06, 2010

CARACAS: Venezuela's President Hugo mocked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a "blond" version of her predecessor, and said a row with Spain over alleged links with rebel groups was over.

Visiting Latin America this week, Clinton said the Obama administration's policies toward the region were helping blunt the criticism of the United States by leftist leaders like Chavez.

"To me, she's like Condoleezza Rice ... a blond Condoleezza," said the Venezuelan, referring to former U.S. president George W. Bush's secretary of state, with whom he exchanged frequent harsh words at long-distance.

Citing comments by Clinton in Brazil, Chavez said she was proving to be equally aggressive. "She comes to Brazil to provoke us, to try and divide us from our brothers."

While taking a familiar pop at the United States, Chavez was more conciliatory toward Spain.

President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government stirred Chavez's wrath this week by demanding an explanation of a judge's accusations that Venezuela had helped Basque ETA and Colombian FARC rebels plot possible attacks on Spanish soil.

But Chavez said after a conversation with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, he was satisfied that Madrid was now simply requesting information, not making accusations.

"The response from the Spanish government has been acceptable," he said, praising Zapatero and Moratinos' "maturity" and blaming the affair on Europe's "fascist right".

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