Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez shares with his friend Fidel Castro a fondness for inflicting marathon speeches on his audiences. But when the Venezuelan was motormouthing his audience at a recent summit of Latin leaders, "Juan Carlos, the Spanish monarch, could take no more. He flashed a withering look at the president and uttered five words likely to go down in diplomatic history: 'Why don't you shut up?'"
The stunning breach of protocol, did shut up the socialist revolutionary. For about two seconds. Then he regained his voice.Chávez's detractors at home and abroad have gone wild over the event, playing it and replaying it, sending each other high-fives, and in general seeing it as a long overdue comeuppance.
It's not entirely clear, however, whether the King was most put off by Chávez's long windedness or by Chávez's repeated references to a former Spanish Prime Minister as a "fascist".
I wonder if the Spanish would be willing to lease out their king to attend a Cheney speech?
'Shut up!' Spanish King Tells Chávez