Hugo seized the opportunity and gifted Obama a book, Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Latin America’s Open Veins) by Uruguayan Marxist writer Eduardo Galeano. Obama got up and shook hands again, and again.
The Obama administration back then “reset” US-Venezuela relations by reinstating the ambassadors: in 2008 Venezuela had expelled Ambassador Patrick Duffy, and Bernardo Alvarez Herrera was consequently expelled from the US.
This time Chavez said that Larry Palmer, the Obama administration’s Ambassador to Venezuela, would not be allowed to take his post, so the US revoked Alvarez Herrera’s visa. Obama supporters who hurl accusations of racism towards anyone who does not agree with Obama’s decisions remain curiously silent.
So in the middle of all this, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to the inauguration of former terrorist Dilma Rousseff as President of Brazil, and of course Hugo managed to take advantage of the opportunity for another photo-op.
“They talked and smiled, at least for five minutes. It looked like a social conversation, both were smiling,” a Brazilian official who witnessed the encounter told AFP on condition of anonymity.
At one point, Chavez extended his hand to Clinton, who shook it, smiling. They chatted for a few minutes before moving on to formally greeting Rousseff.
“We greeted each other. (Clinton), I think, was entering the room. She had a very spontaneous smile and I greeted her with the same effusiveness. … It was a pleasant moment. We spoke about two or three specific things,” Chavez told VTV.
Whatever the topic was, Hillary had a grand ole time,
That was a humdinger!
It even looked like it went so well Hugo had Hillary begging for more,
Let us pray
In short, yet another instance where we, the American people, can rest assured we’re in the best of hands.
Obama essentially called Chavez’ bluff with strictly reciprocal action. Chavez dared him to cut diplomatic ties altogether, but Obama didn’t go that far. Officially, diplomatic ties remain in place and both embassies remain in operation. If Chavez wants to cut diplomatic ties, he’ll have to do it himself.
While Bloomberg News says Alvarez is in Caracas and EuroNews has video report saying Alvarez Herrera is thought to still be in the USA, either way, his visa is revoked.
Mind you, Chavez had announced that he’d reject Palmer back in August,
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.
This is not the first time Alvarez was sent home by the US. Back in 2008 Alvarez was expelled after Chavez expelled US Ambassador Patrick Duffy. They both were later reinstated in 2009.