Two dinosaurs exchange insults

As you have probably seen, Hugo Chavez was told to shut up the other day by king Juan Carlos during an international conference. Chavez was boorish as usual, using flamboyant insults to lambaste former Spanish president Aznar as a ‘fascist’ (not strictly correct – Aznar was a falangist, which isn’t quite the same thing). When current president Zapatero stepped in to say ‘Steady on, old boy’, Chavez wouldn’t stop interrupting him, despite his microphone being turned off. At this point, Juan Carlos did his bit for international diplomacy by saying “Why don’t you just shut up?”.

The general feeling in the media is that most Spaniards are pretty happy about their king taking Chavez down a peg, but the people I’ve spoken with don’t sound quite so pleased. Chavez was being a complete prick, as usual, but JC didn’t make himself look much more civilised by telling him to shut up, and then storming out of the conference. A friend said to me “He shouldn’t have said that… that’s not how you talk to people at these sorts of events”. And I agree. The king, for all the short term ‘macho’ points he might have earned, didn’t do much to make Spain look like the modern, civilised democracy we know it to be. He may also have piled some more risk onto Spain’s relations with Latin America, which could affect trade and the economy. No, it was an unhelpful flare of temper and not much more.

One man did make Spain look good, and that was Zapatero. In the coverage on the UK’s Channel 4 News, ZP was praised for his composure and diplomacy. Oh, and apparently, our cousin Mariano Rajoy telephoned the king to thank him for sticking up for Aznar… but failed to call Zapatero to thank him. What a petty, poisonous little man Rajoy is. He’s almost worse than Aznar.

5 thoughts on “Two dinosaurs exchange insults

  1. Rajoy did call Zapatero, but don’t let that interfere with your petty, poisonous, cartoon view of the world :p
    The way you “talk to people at these sort of events” is by saying, “so where is the most expensive restaurant in this town so that we can go spend the taxpayers money as egregiously as possible while talking about nothing?”
    Finally, El Rey “stormed out of the conference” when Daniel Ortega, proud daily rapist of his twelve year-old daughter – according to her, blathered on incoherently about the evils of Union Fenosa despite decades of massive financial and agricultural aid from Spain. The Azores-esque photo of Morales, Chavez and Ortega looking like three retards at a luau underscores the real rehearsed purpose of Juan Carlos’ outburst: what the hell does Moratinos think he’s doing placing me in these absurd scenarios with his infantile concept of “diplomacy”?

  2. Well Zapatero does come out of it looking more dignified than the others involved, but thats not difficult. At the same time, the whole incident occurred because Zapatero decided to use his declaration to condemn what Chavez said about the bigote. Probably covering his back against the inevitable and pathetic attempts by the PP to make him responsible for something that nobody should even care about anyway. Let Aznar look after himself, he does nothing to defend anyone anywhere who he disagrees with.

  3. Graeme, I didn’t realise that Zapatero was defending Aznar prior to Chavez’s outbursts although I wondered how it all kicked-off. I think Chavez has started some important reforms in South America but doesn’t do himself any favours with his outbursts. And I agree with Tom that the King didn’t do much for Spain’s reputation.

    I read that Chavez was particularly perturbed at the Spanish ambassador for supporting the attempted coup against him in 2002 which I can understand although he shouldn’t take it out on the King really.

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