"Mr Chavez called Mr Aznar, a close ally of US President George W Bush, a fascist, adding "fascists are not human. A snake is more human."
Chavez has clearly passed all the intellectual barriers to genocide. I suspect only the lack of an 'other' close to hand - too many of his enemies are foreign - has prevented him taking that final, unconscionable step. He is lucky that history has not afforded him the opportunity to join the ranks of the true dictatorial monsters. His regime is pathetic, illiberal and wasteful instead of genocidal and history's judgement will therefore be less emphatic. More on the Left's fringe might even be tempted to apologise for him as too many do for Mao.
Zapatero's response was - to his eternal credit as it must have been tempting to allow the slight to his old political rival to stand - just right:
"Mr Zapatero said: "[Former Prime Minister] Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people."
The King put the same message in less delicate terms:
"Mr Chavez repeatedly tried to interrupt, despite his microphone being turned off. The king leaned forward and said: "Why don't you shut up?"