Honduran cardinal "imperialist clown": Venezuela's Chavez

Responding to a warning from Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga that "he thinks he's a God", Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has described the Honduran prelate as an "imperialist clown".

"Another parrot of imperialism appeared, this time dressed as a cardinal. That's to say, another imperialist clown," Chavez was quoted as saying in a bulletin posted on Tuesday on the state-run news agency's website, The Guardian reports.

Chavez - a close ally of Cuba's Fidel Castro - was responding to criticism from Honduran Cardinal Rodriguez, who said in a recent interview cited by Venezuela's Bolivarian News Agency that Chavez "thinks he's God".

Chavez made the comments during a government event late on Monday. He has repeatedly clashed with Catholic Church leaders in Venezuela, calling them "liars" and "perverts", but he rarely targets high-ranking priests abroad.

El Universal reports that Cardinal Rodriguez had said that President Chavez "feels like a god" and Venezuela is set for great pain if the country continues under a totalitarian regime.

"He feels like a god and thinks he has the right to abuse other people with an arrogance that has been seen in other dictators over history and who are remembered as tyrants," the cardinal was quoted as saying in the Venezuelan daily El Diario de Hoy.

"Chavez is blind, deaf," Rodriguez added in the interview offered following a conference in the Salvadoran capital town.

According to Rodriguez, the Venezuelan ruler should be "humble" and willing to dialogue "because every person should admit they are children of God and do not own the truth 100 per cent."

Chavez Calls Honduran Cardinal a 'Clown' (The Guardian, 24/7/07)
Honduran Cardinal criticizes Chavez (El Universal, 24/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Hugo Chavez (Wikipedia)
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (Wikipedia)

Venezuelan bishops "perverts", Chavez claims (CathNews, 9/7/07)
See you in hell, Venezuela's Chavez tells Archbishop (CathNews, 18/1/07)

25 Jul 2007