[News] Caracas 'will restore envoy to US'

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Sun Apr 19 10:46:20 EDT 2009

Caracas 'will restore envoy to US'


Chavez, right, has been a fierce critic of
US policies in South America [AFP]

Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's president, has said his country will restore 
its ambassador to the US, in a sign of warming ties between Caracas 
and Washington.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas on Saturday, 
Chavez said that he had already decided on a candidate to assume the post.

"I have spoken to Roy Chaderton [a former Venezuelan foreign 
minister] and I have designated him as the new ambassador to the 
United States," Chavez said at the summit, held in Trinidad and Tobago.

"Now we just have to wait for the United States to give Chaderton the 
approval to take up this important post to direct a new era in relations."

The Venezuelan president made the announcement hours after saying he 
had no doubt his country's ties with Washington would improve now 
that Barack Obama, the US president, was in the White House.

There was no immediate reaction from the US delegation.

Diplomatic spat

The move comes nearly seven months after Venezuela expelled Patrick 
Duddy, Washington's top diplomat in Caracas.

In depth

Chavez expelled Duddy in solidarity with Evo Morales, Bolivia's 
president, who ordered out the top US diplomat in his country, 
accusing him of helping the opposition incite violence.

The US administration, then headed by George Bush, US president at 
the time, reciprocated by kicking out both nations' ambassadors.

Relations between Venezuela and the US, its key oil customer, have 
been frayed since Chavez came to power and positioned himself as a 
standard-bearer for anti-US sentiment in South America.

Friendly exchange

Chavez's announcement of better relations follows several friendly 
exchanges between the Venezuelan leader and Obama at the summit.

Obama met and shook hands with Chavez for the first time as the summit began.

"We shook hands like gentlemen. It was obvious it was going to 
happen," Chavez said after the summit opening.

"President Obama is an intelligent man, different from the previous one."

Later, Chavez presented his US counterpart with Open Veins of Latin 
America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, a book by 
Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano.

"This book is a monument in our Latin American history. It allows us 
to learn history, and we have to build on this history," Chavez said.

Obama won repeated applause at the 34-nation summit's inauguration 
after he promised to be an equal partner in the region and expressed 
his desire for a "new beginning" with Cuba.

"I think we're making progress at the summit," Obama said, after 
meeting with key South American leaders.

The weekend-long summit is nominally to discuss regional security and 
the global financial crisis, but the issue of Cuba has been much discussed.

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