Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died Tuesday at age 58, was a flamboyant figure on the world stage, often snagging headlines with his dramatic declarations in speeches and to the media. Here are some of the remarks that garnered international attention:
The devil: Chavez pronounced President George W. Bush “the devil” in a fiery speech at the United Nations in 2006. One day after Bush spoke to the international body, Chavez stood before the same lectern and announced, “Yesterday, the devil came here. Right here.” He crossed himself. “Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today.” Beyond the famous speech, Chavez accused Bush of plotting to kill him and habitually referred to the U.S. president as “Mr. Danger” after an evil character in a Venezuelan novel.
Mars: The Venezuelan leader once said capitalism might have killed off life on Mars. “I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,” Chavez said while marking World Water Day, Reuters reported in 2011.
Halloween: On his television show, “Alo Presidente,” Chavez once held forth against Halloween, calling the holiday a “gringo custom.” “Dressing up the family like witches, it runs contrary to our customs,” Chavez said in 2005. “It's all a game of terror, very appropriate to gringo culture, to make other countries afraid, make its own people afraid.”