Clinton and Chavez Share Happy Moment
Putting aside their differences for a moment, the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had what appeared to onlookers to be having a friendly chat with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The two world leaders were both in attendance at the inauguration of the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff last Saturday.One Brazilian official described the scene as one of friendliness and cordiality. “They talked and smiled, at least for five minutes. It looked like a social conversation, both were smiling.”This encounter came only three days after the last round in a diplomatic feud between the U.S. and Venezuela. This occurred when the U.S. nullified the visa of the Venezuelan Ambassador in Washington which was itself a response to Chavez’ refusal to accept the U.S. president’s appointment of the ambassador to Caracas.The U.S. ambassador-designate to Venezuela, Larry Palmer, had angered President Chavez by criticizing his government at Palmer’s Senate confirmation hearings held last August. Chavez rejected the appointment and dared the U.S. to break off diplomatic relations if they didn’t like it.The revocation of the visa was an “appropriate, proportional and reciprocal action,” reminding Venezuela that Washington had already warned that there would be “consequences” if Caracas turned down the US ambassador-designate.