June 25th, 2009
03:28 PM ET
14 years ago

U.S., Venezuela reinstate top diplomats

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The United States and Venezuela will reinstate each others' ambassadors in the coming days, nine months after a diplomatic spat resulted in their expulsions, the State Department said Thursday.

An exchange of diplomatic notes paved the way for U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy to return to Venezuela, and for Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez Herrera to retake his post in Washington, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

"With (Duddy's) return, full diplomatic representation will resume," Kelly said. "This will help advance and enhance our outreach to the Venezuelan people."

The diplomatic dispute actually began in Bolivia last year, when President Evo Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador there to protest what he called American interference in his country, a claim that the State Department has denied.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expelled Duddy in September in solidarity with Bolivia, and the United States responded in kind the following day, expelling Alvarez.

The expulsions of each others' ambassadors was a low point in what has been a tense relationship between the United States and Venezuela. Chavez has accused the United States of meddling in his affairs and supporting his political opponents, and is known for making inflammatory comments against U.S. leadership. At the same time, the United States accounts for about 60 percent of Venezuela's total exports.

Nicolas Maduro Moros, Venezuela's minister for foreign affairs, confirmed in a press release that Venezuela's ambassador to the United States will immediately be reinstated.

"The Obama administration wants to have more fluid communication and to improve relations," Maduro said. "Our position on this issue is very clear, and we are ready to move forward."

Full diplomatic relations between the United States and Bolivia have not been restored.

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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. No more burning of "old glory"

    I think restoration of diplomatic relations with all countries is a good move. Unfortunately some people will see this as left leaning. Just wait!

    June 25, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. ray ray

    Isn't it great that Obama is extending hugs and kisses to regimes who hate, taunt, and support terrorists plotting against us???

    Syria – CHECK
    Hugo Chavez – CHECK

    Adding insult to injury... Barry extends July 4th invitation to Iranians... yep – those same ones brutally beating, shooting, and killing innocent protestors.

    Talk about CHANGE... we used to condemn and impose sanctions against such regimes... Obama's approach is a warm handshake and invitation to a White House Barbeque???

    June 25, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. landshark

    "The Obama administration wants to have more fluid communication and to improve relations," Maduro said. "Our position on this issue is very clear, and we are ready to move forward."

    Well, naturally. Chavez and Obama see eye to eye on a great many things. Before long, we will have new treaties and better relationships, and you will barely be able to tell that there was ever a dispute.

    June 25, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. JML

    WOW think that maybe talking with your "opposition" will help? WOW America's have their "bright lights on".

    June 25, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Zero.

    Barack Obama is slowly being drawn. he talked all the Talk, now it's time to walk the Walk. He will try, but he can't Dream anymore.

    June 25, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. airborne

    Please ray ray, you have a lot to learn. OBAMA won, please be patient until 2012.

    June 25, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Stephanie

    One dictator back in USA's grace, only Iran and N. Korea are left to feel our love for them.

    June 25, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Paul from Phoenix

    To JML:

    You are right, Talking has definitely helped relations in North Korea, Iran, Cuba.....oh wait.

    June 25, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Nan

    It is a good idea to have diplomatic relations with all countries. There will be those who want to stick to the Bush way of doing things; act like a bully. We have seen where that mentality has gotten us. US citizens afraid to travel overseas and no respect anywhere in the world. Talking is not a sign of weakness and does not automatically mean that you will agree on everything or anything. It just means you are open to how the rest of the world lives. I applaud this administrations efforts to restore the US image around the world. I only hope it is not too late.

    June 25, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Proud Member..Party of No

    What is it with democrats? They loved Josef Stalin, they loved Mao, they love Fidel Castro, they loved Daniel Ortega, they love Mahmoud Achmadenijad, they love Hugo Chavez, they apparently loved Saddam Hussein, etc. etc., etc.

    June 25, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Tulsa

    You right wing idiots would have us at war. thank God the majority of us know that diplomacy is the key to soling disputes.
    Go kill yourselves and let the military be.

    June 25, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. sene

    1 down 2 to go! Americans need to really start understanding that the united states is not the police of the world! All we can do is put our best foot forward and have places like Venezuela meet us in the middle. Obama has put his best foot forward and that's change I can believe in. Rebublicans have had 21/28 yrs..... Please fall back, tone down the rehetoric because it's very obvious that none of that silliness has worked in the past –dating back to before I was born!!!

    June 25, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ ray ray who said "we used to condemn and impose sanctions against such regimes."

    So I guess the sanctions being imposed on Iran don't exist? What about N. Korea? We're shadowing a N. Korean ship because we are enforcing these sanctions. You may want to read Sun Tzu's Art of War. There's a saying that goes keep your friends close and yor enemies closer. American foreign policy is chess, not checkers.

    June 25, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. steve Pagnozzi

    A common sense approach. There isn't a chance for change unless there is some kind of dialogue. In addition, I don't think President Obama is naive in that everything can be "hunky dory" between Venezuala and the US Given, Chavez's mercurial persona. I believe, that our Pres. is thinking, well We can dialogue until the Other guy puts his foot in the proverbial mouth. In other words, let the other guy start some trouble.

    June 25, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Leah

    By using diplomacy and extended a hand to Syria and Venezuela.
    It seems like he is trying to cut off the life line of extremists and terrorist.
    The more USA have good relationship with that side of the world, the more he is isolating extremists and terrorist to one corner.
    Smart move.
    Bullying doesn't work, either you are with me or against me didn't turned out that well either. Now is time to try different approach.

    June 25, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. jim

    Dear ray ray

    You piece of garabage people like you should not have the right to vote. You obviously are extremenly unintelligent. Go back to your hole.

    I say lets lift term limits Obama will win indefinitely!! The republicans are destroying themselves – family value unite!

    June 25, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |