Venezuela again rejects U.S. ambassador

13:02, September 18, 2010      

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez again rejected on Friday the new U.S. Ambassador to his country, Larry Palmer.

"That man was disqualified. If they (U.S.) decide not to send an ambassador, do not send him. And if they want to withdraw our ambassador, do it. We are an independent nation and they are acting with imperial rudeness," said Chavez, during an official event of the ruling Socialist United Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

During the event broadcast by the state-run TV channel Venezolana de Television (VTV), Chavez said the administration of U.S. president Barack Obama was irresponsible.

He added Venezuela would never allow entry of Palmer, who was named ambassador to Caracas on June 28 by Obama.

This was the fourth time that the Venezuelan government had publicly rejected the entry of Palmer following his unfriendly comments on the country.

Chavez has ordered his Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro to send a letter to Washington explaining the reason why Palmer was rejected by Caracas.

On Aug. 3, Palmer criticized the "low moral of the Venezuelan Armed Forces" and Cuba's huge influence on Venezuela and spoke of the alleged presence of Colombian guerillas on Venezuelan territory.

Five days later, Chavez announced the possibility of rejecting Palmer.

"(Palmer) cannot come breaking all the diplomatic laws. How can he be ambassador? He will be rejected," Chavez said on that occasion.

Relations between Venezuela and the United States worsened after the Venezuelan failed coup attempt against Chavez in 2002. Venezuela accused Washington of supporting the coup, a charge denied by the latter.

The ties have remained tense in recent years although both sides agreed at the April 2009 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago to seek a relationship based on mutual interest.

In September 2008, Chavez expelled U.S. ambassador Patrick Duddy, who was declared an unwelcome person in the country, to show solidarity with the Bolivian government's decision to expel the U.S. ambassador in La Paz.

Duddy returned to his post on June 2009 after Chavez and Obama met over the issue during the Trinidad and Tobago summit.

Source: Xinhua


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