Chavez denies meeting Spain’s Prince Felipe


Caracas : Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has denied reports he met Spanish Crown Prince Felipe in Buenos Aires and reiterated that he was waiting for the Spanish king to apologize for the incident at a recent summit in Chile, Spanish news agency EFE reported Thursday.

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“I, in the first place, didn’t meet the Prince of Asturias,” he said Tuesday, adding that he only waved to him at an official dinner at the San Martin Palace Sunday evening.

Chavez further said that Venezuela’s differences with Spain would deteriorate further if the monarch does not apologize for telling him to shut up during the final session of the Ibero-American Summit, held in November in Santiago.

“I repeat, if the king of Spain does not apologize, we’re not ready to turn the page. He has to apologize, in some way. I’m not going to ask the king to get down on his knees, no. We’re human beings and I respect (King) Juan Carlos,” Chavez told reporters in Buenos Aires Tuesday.

“We have nothing against Spain, we really don’t, we have good feelings with Spain,” Chavez said.

Chavez had travelled to Buenos Aires to attend Monday’s inauguration of Cristina Fernandez as Argentina’s president and Sunday’s founding ceremony of the Bank of the South, conceived as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

An official Spanish source said earlier this week that Crown Prince Felipe and Chavez had greeted each other cordially at the gala dinner hosted by the Argentine government for dignitaries attending Fernandez’s inauguration and it was Chavez who approached the prince.