Chavez renews warning over US envoy

For months Chavez has been warning that US nominee, Larry Palmer, would not be welcome under any circumstances due to critical remarks he made about the Venezuelan government.

Chavez renews warning over US envoy

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday warned that Washington's nominee for ambassador would be detained and put on the next flight home if he tries to set foot in the country.

For months Chavez has been warning that President Barack Obama's nominee, Larry Palmer, would not be welcome under any circumstances due to critical remarks he made about the Venezuelan government.

During his Senate confirmation process, Palmer suggested that morale is low in Venezuela's military, and that there were clear ties between members of the country's government and FARC rebels in neighboring Colombia.

"He went ahead and said whatever he felt like saying, disrespecting Venezuela, a group of honorable generals ... the government, the Venezuelan constitution," Chavez said in a televised speech.

"How is he going to be ambassador? He disqualified himself."

Chavez told Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, saying Palmer must be stopped if he attempts to fly into Caracas' international airport, in nearby Maiquetia.

"If he arrives at Maiquetia, grab him, Nicolas, grab him," Chavez said. "Give Mr. Palmer a coffee from me, and then 'bye-bye.' He cannot, he cannot enter this country."

Last week, a senior U.S. State Department official, Arturo Valenzuela, said Palmer's confirmation by the U.S. Senate was expected in the coming days, according to media reports.

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry called the U.S. government's insistence on appointing Palmer a "new provocation" in a statement on Saturday, condemning what it called his "unacceptable conduct."

"It's well known how Palmer broke the basic rules of respect for the country that was going to receive him, crudely insulting the institutions ... of Venezuela," the Foreign Ministry said.

Chavez said the Americans should have gotten the point by now that Palmer is unwelcome. "We told them he should not come. We also sent it to them in writing two months ago," he said.


Agencies

Last Mod: 19 Aralık 2010, 14:52
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