News / USA

US Officials Expected to Attend Chavez Funeral

TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
The United States is expected to send a delegation to Hugo Chavez's funeral later this week in a move that could send a conciliatory message to Venezuela now that its stridently anti-American leader has died.

Senior U.S. officials also said on Wednesday that Washington had no immediate plans to respond in kind to Venezuela's expulsion of two U.S. military attaches, which was announced on Tuesday by Vice President Nicolas Maduro just hours before he told the world of Chavez's death.

Nicolas Maduro

  • Venezuelan vice president, Hugo Chavez's chosen successor
  • Former foreign minister
  • Was a member of assembly that drafted a new constitution after Chavez's 1998 election
  • Campaigned for Mr. Chavez's release from prison in the 1990s
  • 50 years old, former bus driver
Maduro, Chavez's chosen successor, said on Tuesday that one of the expelled U.S. diplomats tried to stir up a military plot against Chavez. He also said Chavez's cancer was an attack by Venezuela's enemies - an accusation the United States dismissed as absurd.

A senior State Department official said the United States was reviewing its response to Venezuela's expulsion of the two military officials and said it had the right to reciprocate in kind but for now it would not be doing so.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas has been without an ambassador since 2010, when Chavez rejected the U.S. appointee. That led Washington to revoke the credentials of Venezuela's ambassador.

U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement shortly after Chavez's death was announced, expressing an interest in a "constructive relationship" in the post-Chavez era. But analysts said Washington would be challenged to figure out a way to engage with Venezuelan leaders and the opposition without appearing to meddle in the South American oil-producing nation.

The senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States would like a "more functional" relationship with the Venezuelan government going forward.

The official said it was too early to tell how the situation would evolve but said the United States was expected to send a delegation to Chavez's funeral, which will be held on Friday. Details of who will be included in the delegation will be announced by the White House.

There have been no signs of security threats in Venezuela since Chavez's death, the official said.

"We have no indication right now that there is any threat to our personnel or Americans in Venezuela," the official said. "After you have the kind of broadside that Vice President Maduro launched against the United States yesterday we obviously have security concerns and will remain very vigilant."

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid