Socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez mocked George W. Bush as a "comrade" saying the US president was a left-winger for his lifeline to major banks.
Last Updated: 8:35AM BST 16 Oct 2008
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez Photo: EPA
Chavez, who describes capitalism as evil, ridiculed Mr Bush for his plan to buy stocks in American banks despite his widespread criticism of Venezuelan nationalisations.
"Bush is to the left of me now," Mr Chavez told an audience at a debate on the benefits of socialism. "Comrade Bush announced he will buy shares in private banks."
Chavez, who has insulted Mr Bush in the past as a drunkard or the devil, accused him of parroting the words of his aides without understanding the new policies that rely on heavy state intervention.
"I am convinced he has got no idea what's going on," said Mr Chavez, who has nationalised large parts of the Venezuelan economy in recent years and is in negotiations to take over a Spanish bank.
The Bush administration, which has promoted free-market policies throughout Latin America, resisted taking shares in banks for weeks. But, faced with a spiralling financial crisis, it reversed course this week with a multi-billion dollar plan.
Mr Chavez, who the US labels an autocrat, is a vocal critic of Mr Bush.
Despite the ideological differences between the two governments and the diplomatic sparring that led weeks ago to the countries expelling each other's ambassador, Venezuela remains a major oil supplier to the United States.