Venezuela and the U.S. restoring diplomatic ties


Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

In a potentially significant step toward repairing their tattered relationship, the United States and Venezuela have formally agreed to resume full diplomatic relations, the State Department.

Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the two nations exchanged notes that in effect formalized pledges that President Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made at the Summit of the Americas in April to reinstall ambassadors who were expelled in September.

U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy and his Venezuelan counterpart, Bernardo Alvarez, soon will resume their former posts in Caracas and Washington, respectively, Kelly said. Each country’s embassy had remained open and formal relations were never fully cut.

Kelly said the move would “help advance U.S. interests” by improving communication with the Venezuelan government and citizens…

Analysts said the resumption of full diplomatic relations with Venezuela reflects the important commercial ties between the nations, the Obama administration’s desire for better Latin American relations and Chavez’s need to improve his image…

During the Bush administration, relations between the two nations were abysmal, with leaders on both sides routinely exchanging insults. But relations seemed to improve at the April summit, where Obama and Chavez exchanged friendly greetings and Chavez presented Obama with a book.

Since taking office, Obama has said he wants “a new beginning” with Latin countries and has pledged to alleviate suspicions and work cooperatively with nations in the region.

A significant chunk of my years of political [and other] activism supporting movements of national liberation took place in Latin America. I’ve long held that commerce is a better way to solve conflicts than trotting out the imperial army. Looks like a few folks in DC think so, too. Now.

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