Hugo Chavez (AFP Photo / Thomas Coex)October 8, 2008, 19:25
Chavez names ‘Comrade Bush’ a socialistGeorge Bush has been the target of fresh jibes by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez for doing exactly what he was criticising the socialist leader for – overriding market laws to protect the economy.
Critics say the U.S. bailout plan is an example of a double standard by the Bush administration, reports America’s McClatchy newspaper.
"If the Venezuelan government, for example, approves a law to protect consumers, they say, 'Take notice, Chavez is a tyrant!'" said Chavez, speaking in one of his recent weekly television shows.
"Or they say, 'Chavez is regulating prices. He is violating the laws of the marketplace.' How many times have they criticised me for nationalising the phone company? They say, 'The state shouldn't get involved in that.' But now they don't criticize Bush for having to nationalise (the biggest banks in the world.) Comrade Bush, how are you?"
Warming to his theme, he added: "Comrade Bush is heading toward socialism."
Nicaragua Congressman Edwin Castro agreed: "We think the Bush administration should follow the same policies that they and the International Monetary Fund have always told us to follow when we have economic problems — a structural adjustment that requires cutting government spending and reducing the role of government.”
Meanwhile, Bush said the bailout plan, that will see $700 billion of government money used to buy toxic mortgages, was necessary, although he said it stood against his personal philosophy.