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Venezuela cools relationships with the USA

Staff writer |
Venezuela said it has ended the normalization of relationships with the United States. The cause is a statement by Samantha Power who is to become the US envoy to the United Nations (UN).

Ms.Power, nominated for the UN, said at a US Senate confirmation hearing last Wednesday that if she got the job she would stand up to "repressive regimes" and challenge the "crackdown on civil society being carried out in countries like Cuba, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela".

"The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela hereby ends the process... of finally normalising our diplomatic relations," said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

Venezuela is opposed to the "interventionist agenda" presented by Ms. Power, and said that her "disrespectful opinions" were later endorsed by the State Department, "contradicting in tone and in content" earlier statements by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mr. Kerry and his Venezuelan counterpart, Elias Jaua, agreed in June that officials would "soon" meet for talks that could lead to an exchange of ambassadors. President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday said that Power's statement was "outrageous," and demanded an "immediate rectification" from Washington.

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