BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday repeated his demands that the King of Spain apologize for telling him to shut up in November, saying bilateral relations would deteriorate if he does not.”If the King of Spain does nothing to apologize, this will continue to deteriorate,” Chavez told reporters at the end of a three-day visit to Argentina where he attended the inauguration of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
At a summit of leaders from Latin America and Iberia in November 10, King Juan Carlos told Chavez “why don’t you just shut up,” after the Venezuelan leader interrupted Spain’s prime minister.
Earlier in the summit Chavez had repeatedly called former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a fascist.
The King’s outburst became an instant Internet video hit and was downloaded as a mobile phone ring tone by delighted enemies of Chavez, who is given to lengthy speeches and has insulted other world leaders in the past.
But Chavez supporters felt the King had acted as though Spain was still a colonial power. The president threatened to reconsider business and diplomatic ties with Spain, which has billions of dollars of investments in Venezuela.
Spanish companies with big investments in Venezuela include telephone company Telefonica and the banks BBVA and Santander.
Spain has tried to smooth over the spat through diplomatic channels but Chavez has demanded a public apology. “He should say something, or send someone with a message, or write a note, but pride….” Chavez said, trailing off his sentence.
Chavez also repeated attacks on the president of neighboring Alvaro Uribe a liar.
In late November, Chavez cut diplomatic ties with Colombia and said Venezuela would reduce trade with its neighbor after a spat with Uribe, who suspended Chavez’s efforts to facilitate talks with Colombia’s guerrillas over the release of hostages.
“Uribe is a liar. Uribe is shameless. As long as I live I will never have anything more to say to Mr. Uribe,” Chavez said.