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World Briefing / Spain

Hugo Chavez, king mend rift

September 12, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Spanish King Juan Carlos I appeared to have put their public spat of two years ago well behind them during a meeting in Spain, even sharing a joke about the monarch's new beard.

Chavez said to the king, "You've grown a beard like Fidel," referring to former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, to which the king replied: "I'm changing my look."

Relations between the two have been closely monitored since the king shouted: "Why don't you shut up?" after the Venezuelan leader interrupted the Spanish prime minister and called former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a fascist at a 2007 summit. Footage of the outburst was broadcast around the world.

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