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Chavez Says US Diplomat Welcome to Visit


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he would welcome a visit by U.S. State Department official Thomas Shannon, but he says the diplomat should not come to cause problems.

Mr. Chavez made the comment in his weekly radio address Sunday.

The president said Shannon contacted his foreign minister to say he wants to visit Venezuela. Mr. Chavez said if Shannon shows Venezuela respect, it will show him respect in return.

Shannon is the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs

Earlier this month in Caracas, Chavez supporters pelted the car of U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield with eggs and vegetables as he left a charity event. Mr. Chavez had accused the ambassador of repeatedly engaging in provocative activity.

The United States threatened to restrict the movements of Venezuela's ambassador to Washington, Bernando Alvarez, if there is another such incident.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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