"He [King Juan Carlos] is as much a head of state as I am, with the difference that I've been elected three times with 63% of the vote; the Indian Evo Morales is also as much a head of state as King Juan Carlos de Borbón. No chief of state can tell another one to shut up. I've been told that they had to restrain the king because he was rising from his chair, although I didn't notice it. I was only telling the truth I believe, therefore I have nothing to answer for to the king. That's his problem." — Hugo Chávez, responding to King Juan Carlos' injunction that he "shut up" after repeatedly interrupting President Rodríguez Zapatero's speech at the Ibero-American Summit, held at Santiago, Chile.
Well, this adds an interesting dimension to this story. According to those near to the king, who were obliged to "restrain" him, or so Hugo has been told, His Catholic Majestry was ready to fall upon the red cacique. What a historic moment that would have been! The symbolism alone would have sufficed to make me pass out. For once, a Spain king would be vindicating the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Americas by thrashing one of their own! There are a few pages still to be written in the history of Spanish colonialism in Latin America. That would have been one.
Chávez neglected to mention that besides being a head of state like King Juan Carlos, he also aspires to be a king himself. The upcoming Venezuelan elections will make him "president for life," the first in the Americas since "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Before Chávez is through he may well crown himself, you know, so that old kings won't pick on him anymore since he'll be their "cousin."
BTW, I guess there's not going to be any Grand Cross of Isabel the Catholic in Hugo's future.