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Back in the Day: ¿¡Por qué no te callas!?

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Back in the Day: ¿¡Por qué no te callas!?


November 10, 2007 The King of Spain Juan Carlos I tells Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "¿Por qué no te callas?" – or ‘Why don’t you just shut up?’ – at an Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile. The blunt put-down became an instant hit on the internet and spawned countless T-shirts, bumper stickers, ring-tones and even an internet domain name that sold for thousands of dollars on eBay. King Juan Carlos made the comment after Chavez repeatedly interrupted a speech by Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, at one point calling Zapatero’s predecessor Jose Maria Aznar a ‘fascist’. Zapatero remained diplomatic but his royal counterpart was unable to contain his exasperation; by using the informal ‘tu’, his rebuke sounded even more like a father chastening a child. In the immediate aftermath, Chavez threatened to review Spanish interests in Venezuela, while the New York Times said the incident was another example of “the unendingly complicated relations between Spain and its former colonies.”

Also on November 10: founding of the United States Marine Corps (1775); first episode of Sesame Street is broadcast (1969); Apple launches the iPod (2001).

Born on November 10: Martin Luther (1483), Mikhail Kalashnikov (1919), Richard Burton (1925), Ennio Morricone (1928), Bachir Gemayel (1947), Warren G (1970).

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