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Chavez and Fox recall ambassadors

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4437024.stm Chavez and Fox recall ambassadors Mexico and Venezuela have recalled their ambassadors amid a diplomatic
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 14, 2005
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      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4437024.stm

      Chavez and Fox recall ambassadors

      Mexico and Venezuela have recalled their ambassadors
      amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries.

      Mexican President Vicente Fox announced the move
      minutes after Venezuela said it was ordering home its
      envoy.

      Venezuela's Hugo Chavez refused to bow to Mexican
      demands to apologise for warning off Mr Fox - after
      describing him as a "puppy" of US imperialism.

      The row began last week, after Mexico supported a
      failed US bid to relaunch regional free trade talks at
      a summit.

      On Sunday, Mr Chavez accused the Mexican leader of
      disrespecting him and warned: "Don't mess with me sir,
      because you'll come out pricked."

      He also accused Mr Fox again for allegedly violating
      protocol in trying to press for an agreement on the
      Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) when it was not
      on the Summit of the Americas' agenda early in
      November.

      Mexico said the comments "strike at the dignity of the
      Mexican people" and demanded a formal apology from
      Venezuela or severing diplomatic ties.

      'Sad'

      Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez called the
      demand "unjustifiable".

      "The immediate return of ambassador Vladimir Villegas
      has been ordered," he said.

      The embassy in Mexico would be left "in the hands of
      an appointed charge-d'affaires," he added.

      He said the situation was "entirely the
      responsibility" of President Fox but insisted it "is
      not a break" in relations with Mexico.

      Moments after Mr Rodriguez' announcement, Mr Fox told
      CNN en Espanol that Mexico's ambassador would be
      ordered back from Venezuela.

      He said he would consult Foreign Secretary Luis
      Ernesto Derbez to decide what to do next.

      Last Wednesday, Mr Chavez said that Mr Fox had, as he
      put it, been left bleeding from the Summit of the
      Americas.

      "How sad that the president of a people like the
      Mexicans lets himself become the puppy dog of the
      empire", he told an audience of supporters and
      businessmen in the Venezuelan capital Caracas.

      At the summit, the US and Mexico were unable to win
      backing for a resumption of talks on the FTAA.

      They faced opposition from five of the 34 countries
      attending, among them Venezuela and the host,
      Argentina.

      The other 29 nations - including Mexico - said they
      wanted to resume talks on the free trade agreement in 2006.
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