Source AP ©

Honduran Congress urges Chavez apologize to "imperialist clown"

The Honduran Congress is demanding Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to apologize for calling a Honduran cardinal an "imperialist clown," legislators said Wednesday.

Chavez was responding to criticism from Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, who said in a recent interview cited by Venezuela's Bolivarian News Agency that Chavez "thinks he's God and can trample upon other people."

Juan Hernandez, a legislator with Honduras' opposition National Party, said Congress voted overwhelming late Tuesday to demand President Manuel Zelaya "ask for an apology from Mr. Chavez for the offenses directed against the cardinal and the Honduran people."

Zelaya said Tuesday he planned to call Chavez and ask him to show respect of the cardinal. No one could be immediately reached at Zelaya's office to see whether he had spoken to Chavez yet.

Chavez has repeatedly clashed with Catholic leaders in Venezuela, calling them "liars" and "perverts," but he rarely targets high-ranking priests abroad.

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