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Chavez Proposes New Ambassador to Washington


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he expects to send an ambassador back to the United States soon, in a move that would come months after both nations expelled the other's envoys.

President Chavez said Saturday at the Summit of the Americas that he has spoken to former foreign minister Roy Chaderton and designated him as the new diplomat in Washington. Mr. Chavez said that now Venezuela has to wait for the United States to give the appropriate acceptance.

The Associated Press quotes a State Department official as saying the United States and Venezuela will work on returning ambassadors to both Washington and Caracas.

The United States has had contentious relations with Venezuela, reaching a new low in September when Mr. Chavez expelled the American ambassador and the U.S. reciprocated.

Mr. Chavez said he was acting in solidarity with Bolivian President Evo Morales, who expelled the American ambassador in his country for allegedly contributing to divisions within Bolivia.

Mr. Chavez and U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands Friday at the start of the summit, where the new American leader called for a new beginning in U.S. relations with Cuba. Venezuela and Cuba are allies.

Also Saturday, the Venezuelan leader walked over to President Obama, shook hands with him again, and gave him an academic book about foreign exploitation in Latin America. The book is titled, The Open Veins of Latin America.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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