BEIJING - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez broke into an unlikely snippet of song for bitter ideological foe George W. Bush on Thursday, trilling "you are so like me" about the man he has called a donkey and the devil.
The staunch leftist said the world financial crisis had forced his U.S. counterpart to recognise flaws in the economic system that he had been pointing out for years.
"I am sounding like Bush, more or less. What a novelty!" Chavez said, after quoting from Bush's warning that the United States was in the middle of a serious financial crisis that could push the economy into a long-term recession.
He then serenaded startled journalists before settling back into more familiar criticism of the "imperialist" regime he said had brought the current crisis upon itself.
"The president of the United States has finally recognised there is a crisis...that they are the ones who are responsible for the collapse that is happening the in world at the moment, the financial tsunami," he told a news conference in Beijing.
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"Socialism is the only route to the salvation of the world."
Outspoken Chavez says Venezuela's socialist economic system, based around state-owned national champions, has protected it from the worst of the turmoil now roiling global markets.
The self-proclaimed Maoist was in China to boost oil sales and secure extra cash for development programmes in China.