Spanish King Tells Chavez to “Shut Up”

Spain’s King Juan Carlos told Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, to “shut up” on Saturday during closing speeches by leaders at the Ibero-American summit in Chile.

“Why don’t you shut up?” the king shouted at Chavez, when he tried to interrupt a speech by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister.

Zapatero was in the middle of a speech at the summit of mostly leftist leaders from Latin America, Portugal, Spain and Andorra, and criticised Chavez for calling Jose Maria Aznar, Spain’s former prime minister, a fascist.

Zapatero, a socialist, told the leaders gathered in the Chilean capital, Santiago: “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.

“You can disagree radically, without being disrespectful,” Zapatero, a socialist, said sternly, drawing applause from some of the other heads of state.

Chavez, a former soldier, made his mark on the three-day summit from the start, announcing his arrival earlier in the week with defiant lyrics from a Mexican ballad.

“With the truth in hand, I do not offend, I do not fear,” Chavez said on Saturday.

“The government of Venezuela reserves the right to respond to any aggression.” — AP