President Hugo Chavez claimed this week that he and his Cuban ally Fidel Castro are more conservative than left-wing U.S. President Barack Obama, referring to the American government bailout and takeover of General Motors, Reuters reported.
The Venezuelan leader was giving a speech on the "curse" of capitalism on Tuesday as GM was filing for bankruptcy and preparing for Washington to take control of 60 percent of the 100-year-old symbol of American capitalism.
"Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right," Reuters quotes Chavez joking on a national TV broadcast.
Socialist Chavez has nationalized most of Venezuela's economic sectors, including many oil projects that include joint ventures with private companies that give his government a 60 percent stake.
Obama says he will quickly sell off GM, but for now the government controls the automaker and has injected $30 billion of taxpayer money into the company.
Chavez also on Tuesday accused the CIA of plotting to kill him.
Chavez has previously accused the U.S. of plotting to overthrow him or invade Venezuela, but Tuesday was the first time he has made such accusations since warmly greeting President Barack Obama at an April summit in Trinidad and Tobago.
"I'm not accusing Obama," he said. "I think Obama has good intentions, but beyond Obama there's an empire — the CIA and all its tentacles: Terrorists and paramilitaries."
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.