[QODLink]
Americas
US withdraws Venezuela envoy's visa
Decision to revoke visa for Venezuela's ambassador to Washington follows rejection of US choice for Caracas.
Last Modified: 30 Dec 2010 03:20 GMT

Palmer angered Caracas after he said he believed Venezuela's army was suffering from low morale [AFP]

The US has revoked the visa for Venezuela's ambassador to Washington in what it called a "reciprocal" action for Caracas turning down the US choice for its own representative in the Venezuelan capital.

Mark Toner, a US state department spokesman, confirmed on Wednesday that the visa of ambassador Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, who is reportedly not currently in the US, had been revoked.

Toner said: "We said there would be consequences when the Venezuelan government rescinded agreement regarding our nominee, Larry Palmer.

"We have taken appropriate, proportional and reciprocal action".

Speaking on state television on Tuesday, Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan preisdent, had dared the US to cut off diplomatic relations.

"If the [US] government wants to expel our ambassador there, let them! If they cut off diplomatic relations, let them," he said.

Chavez had announced in August that he would not accept Palmer's appointment to be the next US ambassador to Venezuela because of comments Palmer made during his confirmation hearing in the senate.

Palmer said that he believed Venezuela was allowing leftists FARC fighters to find safe haven in the country and that Venezuela's military was under Cuban influence and suffering from low morale.

Relations between Washington and Caracas have been rocky since Chavez came to power in 1999.

Both sides withdrew their ambassadors between September 2008 and June 2009 after a spat over US military bases in Colombia.

Despite their political differences, the US continues to buy around one million barrels of crude oil from Venezuela every day.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.