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Clinton criticizes Chavez for likening Bush to the devil

Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published: Wednesday September 20, 2006

Washington- Bill Clinton came to the defence of his successor on Wednesday, saying Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez should not have referred to US President George W Bush as "the devil." Clinton said Chavez's name calling during a speech before the UN General Assembly does not serve the interest of his country or his presidency.

"Obviously I think he made a mistake," Clinton said in an interview scheduled to air on CNN Wednesday night. "He's not hurting us, he's just hurting himself and his country."

Speaking from the same podium as Bush had a day earlier, Chavez accused Bush of being a "devil" with imperialist ambitions.

"Yesterday, the president of the US, the gentleman who I refer to as 'the devil' came here, talking to the world as if he owns the world," Chavez said.

One-time political adversaries, Bush and Clinton have forged a friendly relationship since then-Governor Bush defeated Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, in the 2000 presidential election.

Bush has tapped Clinton to be his personal representative for raising funds to help Americans afflicted by Hurricane Katrina last year and Southeast Asians devastated by a 2004 tsunami.

© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agenteur