Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he’s ready for the US to expel his ambassador and break off diplomatic ties in retaliation for Venezuela’s five-month refusal to welcome the Obama regime's choice of the dubious Larry Palmer to be its next envoy to Caracas. He said: "If the US government intends to expel our ambassador from Washington, well it can go ahead and do it. If the US government wants to break off diplomatic ties, it is free to do it.” Chavez rejected Palmer’s nomination after the former US Ambassador to Honduras in a meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July accused the Venezuelan army of having low morale and that alleged that members of the Venezuelan government have ties with what he claimed terrorist organizations in neighboring Colombia.
State Department Spokesman, Philip Crowley threatened that Venezuela’s refusal to accept Palmer would hurt already-strained relations. He did not say what steps the US administration would take.
However, Chavez, in comments carried on Venezuelan TV on December 28 said Palmer would be turned back at the airport if he were to board a plane for Venezuela.
Chavez had expelled the previous US ambassador, Patrick Duddy, in 2008, in solidarity with Bolivia, which sent home the American ambassador there and charged the US with backing opposition movements in both countries. Now, the Venezuelan anti-imperialist leader reiterated that Caracas refuses to endorse Palmer's credentials, despite the US government's threats to retaliate.
"Well, they can do whatever they want, but this man is not coming," Hugo Chavez said, making it clear: "To come here, an ambassador must respect the host country."
Relations between the United States and Venezuela have been strained in recent years as Chavez has repeatedly denounced "American imperialism". Now it seems a new wave of friction between the US and Venezuela is taking shape in the form of diplomatic conflict. The US, as part of its meddling policy, has tried to question a recent bill approved in the parliament of Venezuela, granting special rights to the president of the country, Hugo Chavez. Elsewhere, the tenure of the US ambassador to Caracas, Patrick Duddy, has come to its end and appointment of a new envoy has now turned in part into a new round of clash of words between the two countries.
The Venezuelan officials believe that with appointment of Palmer, a new wave of ploys against the government in Venezuela will be hatched. The US embassy had played a role during a failed coup in 2002 against the popular government of Hugo Chavez.