'King of Spain' tells half a million callers to 'shut up'
New, insulting ringtone a smash hit in Spain
Five words — the king of Spain's undiplomatic advice to the Venezuelan president to "shut up" — are behind a new, reportedly multimillion-dollar business.
"Why don't you shut up?" (or "Por qué no te callas?" in Spanish) is the hottest new ringtone amongSpanishcitizensand opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, with the phrase being downloaded some half a million times in Spain.
According to the BBC, the hit ringtone has been downloaded enough times to have generated roughly $2 million US, and "Why don't you shut up?" T-shirts and coffee mugs are also in production.
The king said the words earlier this month at a summit in Chile, after Chavez called former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar a "fascist."
As the outspoken leftist president continued ranting about Aznar during another speaker's allotted time, an angry Carlos turned in his seat to Chavez and uttered the now-famous phrase.
To skirt any legal problems over use of the king's image, an actor was hired tomimic Carlos's voice for the ringtone, the BBC reported.
Anti-Chavez protesters in Venezuela attributed the ringtone's popularity to dissenters who feel Carlos's outburst reflects the way they feel.
A 21-year-old student in Caracas told the Miami Herald newspaper the slogan was being used as "a form of protest" and that "it's something that a lot of people would like to tell the president."