Thursday, January 15, 2009

Washington expects to restore dialogue with Venezuela

The United States is set to improve relations with Hugo Chávez's government once president elect Barack Obama takes office next January 20
, Thursday said US Chargé d'Affaires in Caracas John Caulfield. Diplomatic ties between the US and Venezuela tumbled last September, when Chávez expelled the US envoy and recalled his ambassador from Washington, in a move to support a similar decision by his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales, AP reported. Caulfield, who is the highest US diplomat left at the US Embassy in Caracas, added that he talked Thursday to Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro about "the opportunity for a new dialogue... between our governments from the perspective of a new administration in Washington." Venezuela's leftist ruler has suggested that bilateral relations will not be fully resumed as long as President George W. Bush remains in the White House. In a speech broadcast recently, Chávez claimed he was willing to meet with Obama only if they could hold talks "on an equal footing."Chávez has also praised Obama's move to appoint Senator Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State.

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