Chavez accuses Merkel of stone throwing
The war of words between Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and German chancellor Angela Merkel has taken another curious turnCaracas -- Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of groundlessly bombarding him "with stones" on Wednesday, continuing a war of words between the two leaders.
While on a visit to an oil field in the central state of Guarico with Portugal's Prime Minister Jose Socrates, Chavez said he had made those comments to President Lula da Silva of Brazil in a telephone conversation.
"He (Lula) said to me that he would equally receive the German Chancellor. And I said, please greet her from me. She comes here and throws stones, for reasons I do not know, some European heads of state come in order to meet with us, and already before their arrival are throwing stones."
The tit for tat battle between the Venezuelan and German leaders started when Merkel told Deutsche Presse-Agentur in an interview ahead of this week's summit between the European Union, Latin American and the Caribbean that left-wing Chavez is not the voice of the region.
Chavez replied aggressively late Sunday in his weekly radio and television programme, saying that Merkel belongs to the political right, "the same right that supported Hitler, fascism."
On Tuesday the Venezuelan government issued a statement stressing that Merkel is not the EU's only voice and demanded "respect" from Germany.
On Wednesday, Merkel did not respond directly to any remarks from Chavez, saying only she wanted to "tighten the strategic partnership with Latin America."
Merkel travelled to Latin America on Tuesday and met with Lula da Silva on Wednesday in Brasilia to discuss broader bilateral economic ties. DPA