It was a key component of Hugo Chávez’s special brand of charisma: the exotic, grandiloquent insult. Chávez was not the only world leader who relished a good — if perhaps, at times, one-sided — fight with los imperialistas, but what made him stand out for so many, including many in the West, was the gusto with which he flung out bombast like "you are a donkey, Mr. Danger" and "go to hell, Yankee shits!" Everyone remembers that Chávez called George W. Bush the devil. But here, we’ve collected some of the less well-known — but no less colorful — insults from the 14-year reign of the Zinger King of Caracas.
Insult: "Puppy dog of the empire."
Insultee: Mexican President Vicente Fox
Insult: "Pitiyanqui," or "Little Yankee"
Insultees: Counterrevolutionaries, or, as the New York Times put it, "the type of Venezuelan who favors shopping sprees in Miami over paying allegiance to the fatherland."
Insult: "Devils in Vestments"
Insultee: The Catholic Church hierarchy
Insult: "Low-life pig"
Insultee: Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles
Insult: "The lord of war … one of the dogs of the devil."
Insultee: Donald Rumsfeld
Insult: "Poor ignoramus."
Insultee: Barack Obama
Compared to these, maybe Bush got off easy with the "devil."
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| Daniel W. Drezner |