EXCLUSIVE: Barbara Walters Interviews Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks openly.

ByABC News
March 15, 2007, 10:57 AM

March 15, 2007 — -- ABC News' Barbara Walters sits down with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for an interview in which Chavez shares his views on the United States, President Bush and America's 2008 presidential elections.

Hugo Chavez made headlines across America when he famously called Bush "the devil" in a speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York last year.

Watch Barbara Walters' full interview with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela Friday on "20/20" at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC

When Walters asks Chavez about the name-calling, he explains it by saying that he wanted his strong words to bring attention to the facts. "Yes, I call him a devil in the United Nations," says Chavez. "That's true. Another time, I said that he was a donkey just because I think that he is very ignorant about the things that are actually happening in Latin America and the world. If that is an excess on my side, I accept. And I might apologize. But who is causing more harm? He burns people, villages and he invades nations."

Chavez also accuses Bush of planning a coup against him. The Venezuelan president briefly lost power in a coup in 2002 but with help from a popular uprising against the coup leaders, reclaimed his position within days.

Bush is not the only U.S. official to become the butt of Chavez's words. Chavez has referred to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as an illiterate who suffers from sexual frustration. Chavez shrugs off these insults as jokes, saying that his words are nothing when compared to the the loss of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

About both Bush and Rice, Chavez says, "As a lady I respect her, for the president of the United States, as a human being, I respect him, but they are killing people."

Chavez insists that the CIA is collaborating with dissident elements within Venezuela to assassinate him. He says the CIA killed Chile's President Salvador Allende in 1973, and has attempted to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba.