19 Apr 2009

Venezuela to restore US envoy in bid to mend US ties

3:30 pm on 19 April 2009

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he expects to send an ambassador back to Washington soon, in a move towards restoring normal ties with the US.

The announcement came at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad, where US President Barack Obama received a warm welcome from Latin American leaders.

Mr Chavez was a fierce critic of the US under former President George Bush, accusing Washington of plotting to assassinate him.

Mr Chavez expelled the US

envoy to Caracas in September and Washington responded by expelling Venezuela's ambassador in a dispute over US activities in Bolivia.

But after Mr Obama said he was prepared to engage with the Cuban government, Mr Chavez now says he will send a representative to Washington.

Mr Chavez told reporters he's designated Roy Chaderton as the new ambassador to the United States, but he still has to get US approval for the appointment.