Venezuela: Cardinal calls Chavez 'dictator

Caracas, Venezuela - A Venezuelan Roman Catholic cardinal lashed out against President Hugo Chavez over the weekend calling him a "paranoid dictator" among other things.

Cardinal Rosalio Castillo said that the Venezuelan leader needed "an exorcism" and that Chavez was orchestrating a "despotic government," El Tiempo newspaper reported.

Chavez and Castillo exchanged words in the media earlier this month with the clergyman saying the president was gaining too much power and Chavez calling the cardinal a "bandit" possessed by the devil.

The left-wing Chavez has been accused by his opponents and U.S. officials of trying to steer Venezuela toward becoming a Cuba-style regime. In turn, Chavez says the Bush administration has been trying to undermine his authority by funding the opposition.