Venezuela's Chavez takes on Bush in U.N. trip

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez came to New York this week without a prepared speech but with a firm conviction he would address the United Nations without reservations or omissions.

The word he chose to describe U.S. President George W. Bush, "the devil," stirred controversy and some sharp reactions after his speech, but Chavez said Thursday that he stood by that term.

"Sometimes the devil takes the form of people," Chavez told hundreds of supporters in a church in Harlem. He called the war in Iraq criminal and said Bush is a "sick man."

It was classic Chavez: frank, uncensored and irreverent. Some observers, such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, suggested both Chavez and the Bush administration ought to calm their rhetoric and avoid name-calling.

But Chavez accused the U.S. of keeping his doctors and his security chief from coming to New York by not granting them visas, reports AP.

"They're attempts to persuade me not to come, because some people would like for me not to come, but I come. I come to say what I think must be said," Chavez said.

The Venezuelan has said he did not prepare a script, but rather went in with ideas and spoke spontaneously, as is his custom.