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CARACAS, Tuesday February 01, 2011 | Update
 
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Western Hemisphere | Diplomacy | US Chargé d’Affaires John Caulfield
US-Venezuela relations "at a standstill"

"A normal relationship would allow for more dialogue. We do not have that for now,” said John Caulfield, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Caracas since July 2010

  EL UNIVERSAL
Tuesday February 01, 2011  03:18 PM


Relations between Venezuela and the United States are currently "at a standstill" due to the absence of ambassadors in their diplomatic missions, lamented US Chargé d'Affaires in Caracas John Caulfield.

"We are at a standstill," Caulfield said during a debate held in the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington that was also attended by US ambassadors to several South American countries, AFP reported.

"A normal relationship would allow for more dialogue. We do not have that for now," said Caulfield, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Caracas since July 2010.

Tensions between Caracas and Washington reignited as Larry Palmer, the US ambassador-designate to Caracas, rejected by Venezuelan authorities.

Additionally, the US Chargé d'Affaires described as "an earthquake for US companies" in Venezuela the announcement of expropriation of Owens-Illinois' unit in October 2010.

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The rock of discord

A shipment of over 30,000 tons of phosphate arrived at Puerto Cabello port in late July on board the Shi Long Ling, a Chinese-flagged vessel that began its long journey in northern Africa. The cargo boat docked on July 26 after traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles. Undoubtedly, this would just be considered one in many cargo ships crisscrossing the oceans if it were not for the fact that Venezuela has denounced Western Sahara occupation by Morocco and yet purchases the territory's natural resource products from the occupying power.

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