Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, known for his style of public addresses, has accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her party of adhering to extremely rightist ideas. In his address to Venezuela’s government and military leaders Chavez reminded them of the history of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and stated that Angela Merkel and her proponents are “of those who supported Adolf Hitler and fascism”. Then Chavez said: “Miss Chancellor, you may go to…”, afterwards he broke off. After a pause he added: “You are a woman, so I won’t say another word,” the Associated Press said.
Chavez’ emotional address was a response to German Chancellor’s call for world leaders not to deal with Venezuela’s president.
Hugo Chavez lacks self-control in relations with his political opponents. Left-wing Chavez called US President George Bush “devil” at the UN assembly, and he publicly called former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar “a fascist”.
The Spanish king’s remark to Chavez “Why won’t you shut up!” became a very popular ringtone both in Spain and Venezuela.
Even before the April 2002 coup, many owners, managers, and commentators working for the five major private mainstream television networks and largest mainstream newspapers had stated their opposition to Chavez's policies. These media outlets have accused the Chavez administration of intimidating their journalists using specially-dispatched gangs. Chavez in turn alleges that the owners of these networks have primary allegiance not to Venezuela but to the United States, and that they seek the advancement of neoliberalism via corporate propaganda.
According to Greg Grandin, professor of Latin American history at New York University, "The Venezuelan media is chronically obsessed with Chavez, and critical in a way that would be completely alien for most U.S. observers." After the media-backed 2002 coup attempt, Venezuela passed 'social responsibility' legislation regulating the media but has largely declined to enforce it.
Throughout his presidency, Chavez has hosted the live talk show known as Alo Presidente ("Hello, President!"). The show broadcasts in varying formats on state owned Venezolana de Televisión (VTV—Venezuelan State Television) each Sunday at 11:00 AM. The show features Chavez addressing topics of the day, taking phone calls and live questions from both the studio and broadcast audience, and touring locations where government social welfare programs are active. Additionally, on July 25, 2005, Chavez inaugurated TeleSUR, a proposed pan-American homologue of Al Jazeera that seeks to challenge the present domination of Latin American television news by Univision and the United States-based CNN en Español. Chavez's media policies have contributed to elevated tensions between the United States and Venezuela.