Chavez's nationalization announcement came in his first speech of the year, a fiery address in which he used a vulgar word roughly meaning idiot to refer to Organization of American States Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza.
Chavez lashed out at Insulza for questioning his government's decision not to renew the license of an opposition-aligned TV station. "Dr Insulza is quite an idiot, a true idiot," Chavez said. "The insipid Dr Insulza should resign from the secretariat of the Organization of American States for daring to play that role". "He's playing the role of viceroy for the empire". Chavez said that Insulza has lost all moral stature to head the OAS "unless the pretends to turn again into what Fidel Castro described as the Colonies ministry". Next Wednesday - hours after Chavez is sworn in for another term - former revolutionary Daniel Ortega returns to the presidency in Nicaragua. In Managua, Venezuelan Ambassador Miguel Gomez indicated Monday that the two countries planned to work closely together, and said Nicaragua could eventually become Venezuela's top aid recipient - getting even more help than Cuba and Bolivia, which benefit heavily from Venezuela's petro-diplomacy. Gomez said Chavez and Ortega planned to sign an agreement on Thursday providing Nicaragua with resources - he described them as loans - for infrastructure, health, education, agricultural development and the construction of 200,000 houses, as well as energy and debt forgiveness.