Chavez: Imprison 'genocidal' Bush
Hugo Chavez waves to supporters in London on Monday.
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused George W. Bush of committing genocide and said the U.S. president should be imprisoned by an international criminal court.
The leftist leader made his remarks on Monday at a joint news conference with London Mayor Ken Livingstone after a reporter for the BBC likened some comments of his to Bush's phrase, first delivered shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, "You are either with us or against us in the fight against terror."
At that, Chavez erupted in anger about being "compared to the biggest genocide person alive, in the history of humanity, the president of the United States -- killer, genocidal, immoral -- who should be taken to prison by an international court. I don't know to what you are referring when you compare me to President Bush."
He added: "Have I invaded any country? Have Venezuelans invaded anything? Have we bombarded a city? Have we had a coup d'etat? Have we used the CIA to kill a president? Have we protected terrorists in Venezuela? That's Bush!"
The reporter then cited Chavez's critique of a previous question as "silly" for having motivated her question.
That original question, from CNN's Robin Oakley, asked whose decision it had been for Chavez not to include a visit with Prime Minister Tony Blair on his itinerary. During Chavez's first visit as head of state, five years ago, he was warmly received by Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.
Chavez derided the question as "silly" because, he said, the current visit is a private one, not a state visit.
He said he included people with whom he disagrees among his friends, and cited Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, a conservative, as one of them.
Separately, Chavez warned that an attack against Iran would cost the world's oil consumers dearly.
"If there was an attack against Iran, the price could go to $100" per barrel from the current level of about $70, he said.
"It will lead also to greater destabilization."
Published reports have said the United States has drawn up plans to attack Iran if Tehran fails to abandon its nuclear program. U.S. officials have said there are no specific plans to do so.
No country, Chavez said, "has the right the prohibit a country from having nuclear energy." He said he is sure that the Iranians are not working on a nuclear weapon, as U.S. officials have claimed.
"The Iranians, like us, want peace," he said.
Either way, he predicted, the energy crisis will deepen. He described capitalism as "extreme individualism," which is using up the world's non-renewable energy reserves at an alarming pace.
He said the twin towers of the World Trade Center consumed more energy than do some entire countries in Africa.
In addition, the fact that 90 percent of vehicles carry no more than one person is "a stupid thing," he said.
"Our planet will not put up with this," he said. "We're all in peril."
On Saturday, Chavez said he wanted to provide cheap heating oil for low-income Europeans.
The Venezuelan leader worked out a similar deal to deliver discount heating oil this past winter to needy Americans in parts of the eastern United States.
"I'd like to do the same here in Europe," he said Saturday evening at a gathering in Vienna of activists and representatives of social movements and non-governmental groups, according to Reuters. (Full story)
In Washington, the U.S. State Department on Monday added Venezuela to the list of countries "not fully cooperating" with counterterrorism efforts.
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