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CARACAS, Friday December 07, 2012 | Update
 
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FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Washington tries to improve relations with Caracas

The United States wants the region to respect the sanctions on Iran

FRANK LÓPEZ BALLESTEROS |  EL UNIVERSAL
Friday December 07, 2012  11:33 AM
"By seeking some bonds" the United States administration intends to improve its relations with Venezuela. However, Washington blames Caracas for the absence of a US Ambassador to Venezuela.

"Unfortunately Caracas has shown no interest in exchanging ambassadors so far," said Mike Hammer, the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, US State Department, via internet conference with Venezuelan daily newspaper El Universal.

The United States wants "to exchange ambassadors. We believe that having an ambassador in any country means an opportunity to engage in a closer dialogue," Hammer said.

"Since there has been no answer regarding the issue of ambassador, the important thing is that we want to find some bonds allowing us to work together, if Caracas is willing to," the US official added.

The US and Venezuela withdrew their ambassadors in 2010. The move was made after the White House revoked the visa of Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Álvarez upon President Hugo Chávez's statements declaring the then appointed US Ambassador Larry Parmer "persona non grata." Palmer had criticized the situation of Venezuela during a hearing at the US Senate.

Further, the US spokesperson said that Washington "wants the countries in the region to respect the sanctions on Iran, and send a clear message to the Iranian government that its behavior is inacceptable both in supporting terrorism and pursuing nuclear weapons."
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Is protest over?

That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending  in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.

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