Page last updated at 01:25 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 02:25 UK

Chavez offers to hug Spain's king

Hugo Chavez, file image
Mr Chavez is known for his fiery - and lengthy - speeches

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has offered a hug to King Juan Carlos of Spain - who famously told him to "shut up" during a row last year.

The left-wing president, who will visit Spain later this week, said he had already "turned the page" on the spat.

"I'd like to give the king a hug, but you know, Juan Carlos, that I am not going to shut up," Mr Chavez said.

The incident made global headlines last November - inspiring jokes, songs and even mobile phone ringtones.

The king was provoked after Mr Chavez had called former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a "fascist" at the Ibero-American summit in Chile.

Mr Chavez went on to interrupt a speech by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, prompting the king to shout: "Why don't you shut up?"

But the Venezuelan leader - famous for his lengthy speeches - referred to King Juan Carlos as an "old friend" during his weekly TV address.

He said the king had invited him to his summer house on the island of Mallorca on 25 July.

Chavez refuses to be silenced
12 Nov 07 |  Americas
Shut up, Spain's king tells Chavez
10 Nov 07 |  Americas

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