Yesterday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez likened German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Hitler. What provoked the thin skinned strongman? Merkel had the temerity to criticize Chavez and said nations ought not deal with him and that he did not speak for all of Latin America. Chavez, in a speech to the Venezuelan military, said, "She is from the German right. The same that supported Hitler, that supported fascism. That's the Chancellor of Germany today." Chavez was about to tell Merkel to go to hell but stopped short on the count of the Chancellor being a woman. Not that it prevented him from likening her to a mass murderer.
It is worth noting that today Merkel embarks on a week long trip to Latin America which will culminate at a summit of Latin American and EU leaders in Peru. Chavez has threatened to confront Merkel at the summit on Friday. I say that Hugo should keep talking. He's proving her point and for that matter John McCain's. All the more reason for respectable democratic leaders like France's Nicolas Sarkozy not to engage with him.