President Hugo Chavez ordered the U.S. ambassador to leave Venezuela within 72 hours on Thursday, accusing the diplomat of conspiring against his government and saying he would also withdraw his own envoy from Washington immediately.
Chavez made the move in solidarity with Bolivia after his Andean ally expelled the U.S. diplomat there, accusing him of aiding violent protests. He said a new American ambassador will not be welcome in Caracas “until there’s a U.S. government that respects the people of Latin America,” suggesting that diplomatic relations will be scaled back until President Bush leaves the White House.
“They’re trying to do here what they were doing in Bolivia,” Chavez said, accusing Washington of trying to oust him.
“That’s enough … from you, Yankees,” Chavez said, using an expletive. Waving his fists in the air, he added: “I hold the government of the United States responsible for being behind all the conspiracies against our nations!”
Holding up a watch to check the time, Chavez declared: “From this moment, the Yankee ambassador in Caracas has 72 hours to leave Venezuela!” He told his foreign minister to recall Venezuela’s ambassador to Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, “before they kick him out of there.”
The U.S. Embassy said it was aware of Chavez’s speech but had not received official notification. Embassy spokeswoman Robin Holzhauer said Ambassador Patrick Duddy is traveling in the United States this week.
The diplomatic spat brings relations between the two countries to a new low and raises questions about whether it could hurt trade. Venezuela is the fourth-largest oil supplier to the United States, and Chavez also threatened to cut off crude shipments “if there’s any aggression against Venezuela.”
How clear can it be? If you’re against drilling in the USA, everywhere we have oil, then you are consumed with some kind of sick self-hatred, and you hate the rest of us, too. It’s time for the America hating eco-panic “gotta keep the wilderness no one ever sees pristine” Left to be replaced with someone who has our better interests in mind.
In the meantime, does anyone with a desire to survive and to live in a free nation really want Obama in charge when the Russians start putting bomber bases in Venezuela?
Maybe he’ll negotiate nicely with Putin…. hold him down to just a couple dozen bombers, and maybe only 100 or so nukes.
In return we’ll promise not to admit any more former Warsaw block nations into NATO.
Fair trade, right?
We really, really need you, Senator McCain.