Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez spoke at the U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen today, decrying capitalism and saying that "if the climate was a bank, [the United States] would already have saved it," Politico's Glenn Thrush reports.
"The United States can produce dollars, just print them, and they think they've saved their banks and the capitalist system," Chavez reportedly said.
Forbes reports that the South American president also slammed President Obama for his decision to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan.
"I think Obama isn't here yet," he said. "He got the Nobel Peace Prize almost the same day as he sent 30,000 soldiers to kill innocent people in Afghanistan."
This is something of a reversal from Chavez's last word on Mr. Obama back in September, when he called the U.S. president "intelligent" and compared him to John F. Kennedy at the United Nations. At that speech Chavez commented that the air "doesn't smell like sulfur anymore" now that Mr. Obama was in office – a knock on former President George W. Bush.
Today, however, Chavez took an anti-U.S. tone, proclaiming that "There is a ghost running through the streets of Copenhagen." That ghost, he said, is capitalism.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protestors congregated outside Copenhagen's Bella Center, where the climate talks are being held. reports that more than 200 have been arrested by police carrying tear gas and wielding batons.
Chavez had a comment on the protests, too.
"I think we need to say hello to all the people out there," he said. "Most of them young."