Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel has blamed Peru for the diplomatic spat that led each country to withdraw its ambassadors.

Rangel said Friday that Peru's withdrawal of its envoy amounts to a final gesture of submission to the United States before Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo leaves office this year.

Tensions rose after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez openly backed Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala and called rival candidate, former President Alan Garcia, "a thief."

Peru recalled its ambassador April 29, accusing Caracas of "persistent and flagrant interference in Peru's internal affairs." Venezuela took similar action on Wednesday.

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