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US Ambassador to UN Dismisses Venezuelan Foreign Minister's Protests as 'Street Theater'

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is dismissing charges by Venezuela's foreign minister that he was mistreated by New York airport security, calling the diplomat's protest "street theater."

U.S. envoy John Bolton said Monday, there was no incident at the John F. Kennedy airport, where Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro was detained by authorities Saturday. Maduro says officials frisked and physically threatened him.

Bolton said Maduro purchased his plane ticket in a time and manner that raised security concerns, and instead of complying with a secondary screening, Bolton says Maduro called reporters about the incident. Bolton labeled Maduro's actions "propaganda."

Maduro rejected a U.S. apology for the incident, which capped a tense week for U.S.-Venezuelan relations.

At the U.N. General Assembly last week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Bush "the devil."