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US considering seeking new envoy to Venezuela

January 3, 2011

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WASHINGTON—The Obama administration says it may nominate a new ambassador to Venezuela after its previous choice was rejected by the government of President Hugo Chavez.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the U.S. believes it is important to have an ambassador in Caracas in order to manage relations, which have been strained by Chavez's condemnations of the U.S. and by U.S. criticisms that democracy is deteriorating in Venezuela.

Crowley said Monday the administration regrets that Chavez refused to accept Larry Palmer as ambassador. It said that if a decision is made to seek Venezuela's agreement on another envoy, that candidate's nomination would have to be submitted to the Senate for confirmation. Crowley said this was now under consideration.

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