CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez told U.S. officials to "Go to hell, gringos!" and called Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "missy" on his weekly radio and TV show yesterday, lashing out at Washington for what he called meddling in Venezuelan affairs.

The tirade came after Washington raised concerns about a measure to grant the fiery leftist leader broad lawmaking powers. The National Assembly, controlled by the president's political allies, is expected to give approval this week to what it calls the "enabling law," which would give Chavez the authority to impose a series of laws by decree during an 18-month period.

On Friday, U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Chavez's plans under the law "have caused us some concern."

Chavez rejected Casey's statement in his broadcast, saying: "Go to hell, gringos! Go home!"

He also attacked U.S. actions in the Middle East.

"What does the empire want? Condoleezza said it. How are you? You've forgotten me, missy. . . . Condoleezza said it clearly, it's about creating a new geopolitical" map in the Middle East, said Chavez.