Chavez Blasts Coup, Castro Demise Predictions in NEWSWEEK's 20/10

Well, it looks like at least one person didn't like Newsweek.com's 20/10.

As part of the project, a team of NEWSWEEK reporters made 10 predictions for world events that might happen in the next 365 days. Two of them─a coup against Venezuelan President Hugo and the death of his close friend Fidel Castro, the ailing former Cuban leader─have earned the sometimes prickly and always flamboyant 's ire.

Reuters has the story:

CARACAS ─ Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez scoffed on Wednesday at U.S. magazine Newsweek's predictions that he would be toppled by a military coup and his Cuban mentor Fidel Castro would die in 2010.

In a lengthy televised New Year's address, Chavez, who has taken Castro's position as Latin America's leading critic of U.S. power, described Newsweek as "the empire's magazine."

"They feed on hatred and the wishes of the imperialism that they represent─big money, big newspapers, the TV stations of the global bourgeoisie," he said.

The fiery Chavez, who has been in power for a decade, said the only way there would be an uprising against him would be if the internal opposition brought an army from abroad.

"Our counter-attack would be tough, I warn them," he said, drawing applause from an audience of ministers and supporters.

It's been an eventful year for the leftist leader. He shook hands with and gave a book to President Obama in April, only to announce this week that the thrill was gone. He has spent months scrambling to reinstall his protege Manuel Zelaya, the Honduran president who was toppled in a coup in June. And like many other world leaders, he's facing a challenging domestic economy, with Venezuela seeing its first economic contraction in six years. We're glad he was able to fit us in at the end, however briefly.

You can check out the full list of world predictions for 2010 here, and the entire 20/10 project--with looks back at the decade in politics, world affairs, culture, business and more--here.