Bill Clinton a Chavez ambassador choice

Jan. 6, 2011 at 1:26 PM   |   Comments

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CARACAS, Venezuela, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, having rejected the U.S. ambassador to his country, named others he would accept -- including former President Bill Clinton.

In a televised speech in Caracas this week, Chavez also suggested director Oliver Stone, actor Sean Penn and Massachusetts linguistics professor Noam Chomsky, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Chavez last week turned down Larry Palmer, a career diplomat, the Obama administration's choice as U.S. ambassador to Caracas, which caused a diplomatic dustup, the Monitor reported.

Palmer had criticized Chavez's government during his Senate confirmation hearing, suggesting the Venezuelan military has low morale and that Venezuela has intruded in Colombia on behalf of leftist guerrillas, the Monitor said.

In retaliation, the Monitor said, President Obama revoked the diplomatic visa of Venezuela's ambassador to Washington.

Chavez suggested there were many other candidates he would prefer as ambassador, saying, "We have a lot of friends in (the United States)."

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