It seems that the spat between King Juan Carlos and Hugo Chavez is not quite going away. On Saturday Chavez called the former Spanish prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, a fascist, adding "fascists are not human. A snake is more human." His successor Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero reminded Chavez that "Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people."
Mr Chavez repeatedly tried to interrupt, despite his microphone being turned off and it was then that the king leaned forward and said: "Why don't you shut up?" The king then stormed out as Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega stepped in to back Mr Chavez
The king’s actions have been praised in Spain (For example, El Pais said Mr Chavez's outburst was "intolerable"). Yesterday, however, Chavez said the king was "imprudent" and asked if he knew in advance of the brief coup against him. As he left the Ibero-American Summit in Chile's capital, Santiago, Mr Chavez questioned whether Spain's ambassador had appeared with Venezuelan interim president Pedro Carmona during the two-day coup in 2002 with the monarch's blessing.
On Sunday, Mr Chavez said he hoped the spat would not damage relations. "But I think it's imprudent for a king to shout at a president to shut up. Mr King, we are not going to shut up."
The more I see of Chavez’s antics, the more I think he is a fool. His outburst against Aznar was childish and stupid. Of all those present Zapatero may have been most offended by the misuse of the word fascist – his grandfather was executed by francoists during the Spanish civil war. Anyway, perhaps it's a little strange that Chavez would probably never describe Ahmadinejad in the same terms.....