President Hugo Chavez, a fierce US critic, said he is ready to improve ties with Washington by restoring Venezuela's ambassador to the US after both countries removed their ambassadors last year. Chavez named Roy Chaderton for the job.
AFP -The US government "will now work" toward returning its ambassador to Venezuela -- and of its Venezuelan counterpart back to Washington, the State Department said Saturday.
Acting State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a written statement that earlier Saturday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had approached US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain -- and they discussed returning ambassadors to their respective posts in Caracas and Washington.
"This is a positive development that will help advance US interests, and the State Department will now work to further this shared goal," Wood said.
Chavez said earlier in the day that he was naming Roy Chaderton, Venezuela's current representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), to be his new ambassador to Washington.
"Now all we are awaiting is Washington's approval," Chavez said.
The job has been open since September, when Chavez kicked out the US ambassador to Venezuela and Washington responded in kind.
The Venezuelan leader, a longtime US critic, also gave US President Barack Obama a book by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano, "Open Veins of Latin America."
The book focuses on the region's colonial past and its exploitation by the world's big powers -- themes hammered constantly by Chavez, who accuses the United States of "imperialist" policies.
"I thought it was one of Chavez's books," Obama told reporters afterwards. "I was going to give him one of mine."
Obama has earned millions from his best-selling non-fiction books "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams From My Father."
Chavez had inscribed the book to his US counterpart with the message "For Obama, with affection."
Date created : 2009-04-19