"If the Spaniards don't want this incident to become a problem for them, they have to rectify their conduct. I am not going to ask the King to get on his knees before me, but to recognize in some way that he exceeded his limits, that he did something that was improper because he's not the king of Latin American presidents. Speaking for myself, I did nothing 'improper,' as Zapatero has suggested. I simply made an historical observation. Moratinos, for his part, has sent conciliatory messages while throwing oil on the fire by asserting that we precipitated this incident. I don't understand Moratinos. He claims that they don't want this situation to escalate but declares in Chile that Daniel [Ortega] and I crashed with Zapatero because we were defending our Old Left, which means that the Spanish government does not understand that there have been great changes in Latin America." — Hugo Chávez, speaking on Venezuelan television, November 15, 2007
Oh, I think the Spanish government understands it a lot better now.
When Chávez attacks Moratinos, who is the very personification of the left-wing fellow traveller and has always been a cheerleader for both Castro and Chávez, there is more at play than a bruised ego. What Chávez sees is an opportunity to embark on the final phase of Venezuela's transformation into a Communist state by promoting a second "Bolivarian War of Independence" against Spain.
On the positive side, we may be witnessing the implosion of Spain's Socialist Party courtesy of their fraternal ally in the Socialist International.