Posted Feb. 21, 2006 – The only thing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was missing was two finger snaps and a head roll when he warned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Sunday, "Don't mess with me, girl!"
Chavez, speaking on his weekly televised broadcast, was firing back at Rice for saying last week that he was one of the biggest menaces to Latin America and that the United States would develop regional alliances as part of a strategy to expose "anti-democratic" behavior in Venezuela.
"She messed with me again," he said, deliberately mangling her name as "Condolences."
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Chavez also threatened on Friday to cut off oil shipments to the United States if Washington attacks his country, The Associated Press reported. Venezuela remains the fourth-largest supplier of crude oil to its northern neighbor, selling it about 1.5 million barrels daily.
Relations between the US and the South American nation have been strained since Chavez accused the United States of plotting an aborted coup that briefly toppled him in 2002.
Tensions between Washington and Caracas increased this month after Chavez expelled a U.S. naval attaché on spying charges. The State Department responded by kicking a Venezuelan diplomat out of the United States.
Earlier this year, Chavez called President George W. Bush "Mr. Danger" and a "jerk." In 2004, Chavez dismissed Rice as a "true illiterate" after she accused him of not playing a constructive role in Latin America.
How should the United States deal with Venezuela? Who's being more immature?