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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Change: US revokes Venezuelan diplomat's visa

Once, President Obama tried to 'engage' Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, but those days may be gone. In retaliation for Chavez's refusal to accept the credentials of US diplomat Larry Palmer as the ambassador to Venezuela, the United States on Wednesday revoked the visa of Venezuelan ambassador to the US Bernardo Alvarez.
Marking one of the sharpest exchanges of diplomatic barbs between the two countries since the U.S. President Barack Obama came into office, the State Department confirmed on Wednesday night that it had withdrawn the visa granted to Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez.

At a press briefing this week State Department spokesman Mark Toner had warned that while the U.S. regretted the Venezuelan government’s decision to withdraw “agrément,” or formal approval, for Ambassador Designate Palmer, the move “affects our ability to carry out normal diplomatic relations, and… there could be consequences for that action...”

The trouble began when Mr. Palmer, to the chagrin of the Chavez administration, made comments to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about low morale in the Venezuelan military and concerns regarding Colombian FARC rebels finding refuge on Venezuelan soil. In August Mr. Chavez announced that he would not be willing accept Mr. Palmer’s appointment.

On December 21 the Caracas U.S. embassy Chargé, Darnall Steuart, received a diplomatic note from Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, which formally withdrew permission for Mr. Palmer to function as Ambassador to Venezuela.

Describing Mr. Palmer’s remarks about Venezuela as “blatantly disrespectful,” Mr. Chavez earlier said in a statement, “If the [U.S.] government is going to expel our Ambassador there, let them do it… If they are going to cut diplomatic relations, let them do it.”
Add to this the fact that Venezuela is allowing Iran to place missiles that can reach the US on Venezuelan soil, and there is quite a potential for problems here.

What could go wrong?

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3 Comments:

At 9:26 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Someone in the Obama Administration is beginning to realize Hugo Chavez's ambition to make himself a Communist dictator with oil AND nuclear weapons may be more than even a Third World friendly Administration can tolerate.

Obama and Chavez are not going to be eating socialist arepas together any time soon.

Now THAT's change!

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...

The Caracas missile crisis?

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Maybe someone is drawing Osama/obama's attention to the fact he could go down in history as the least-deserving Nobel Peace Prize winner in history if he does not reign himself in!

 

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