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Chavez bombast even before summit with EU

brussels bureau

Chavez bombast even before summit with EU


Germany says it is not going to let presidential insults spoil an EU-Latin America-Caribbean summit at the end of the week in Peru. It is mostly to talk about poverty, climate change and trade.
Yet not all the of heads of state and government have confirmed if they will be going to Lima. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez is playing his cards close to his chest. The German government has dismissed comments made by Chavez, calling Angela Merkel a descendent of fascism. Chavez said: “The German Chancellor said: ‘The governments of Latin America should move away from governments like Hugo Chavez.’” Chavez just stopped himself from telling Merkel where to go, with: “I won’t say anything else because she is a lady.” A spokesman in Berlin said Merkel was looking forward to her first trip to Latin America. Chavez goaded Spain at a summit in November, souring the atmosphere, and King Juan Carlos told him to shut up. About Chavez’s latest salvo, Merkel said in an interview: “One country alone cannot affect relations between the EU and Latin America in the long run.” The last EU-Latin America summit was in 2006. Chavez has taunted the European Union, saying it promises a lot at these affairs but does little. Madrid holds out hope that regional partnership agreements such as MERCOSUR may become a greater lever for development soon.

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