HAVANA TIMES — The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, announced today the appointment of Calixto Ortega as his government’s new Chargé d’affaires at the United States Embassy in Washington.
Maduro said he hopes the appointment will help advance the understanding between the two countries.
The president told a meeting of governors that his government wants the best of ties with the world and with the United States hopes for “respectful relations”, but said: “We are antiimperailistas”.
“We want good relations with the world and with the United States aspire to one day have a relationship of respect, dialogue between equals. Someday they will have to realize that today Latin America is united,” he said.
Relations between Caracas and Washington are at the level of charges d’affaires since 2010, when the late President Hugo Chavez rejected the nomination of Larry Palmer as US ambassador because of his statements about the alleged influence of Cuba in the Venezuelan armed forces.
Maduro said that Ortega “has experience, has a great knowledge of US society and we know he will contribute a lot to increase dialogue.”
The president also referred to a statement by US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell, who denied that Washington is considering sanctions against Venezuela after the presidential elections in which Maduro narrowly triumphed, a victory still not recognized by the United States.
Ventrell denied that sanctions are being studied, a day after Venezuelan Foreign Minister threatened to take “economic, political and diplomatic” action if the United States adopts some form of sanction.
Maduro said he believes the statement by Ventrell is the official position of the US government, where Venezuela exports nearly a million barrels of oil per day.
“We take positive note of this statement. We hope good sense will prevail and not the interests of factors in the US that have tried to destabilize in the past,” he said.