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Through an exchange of diplomatic notes, the
United States and Venezuela have agreed to return ambassadors to their
respective posts in Washington and Caracas, ending a dispute that disrupted
relations between our two nations last fall. President Barack Obama is
committed to improving U.S. ties with all nations in the Americas.
Although there may be differences between us, our countries have many
commonalities. Restoring the two diplomats is an important step that will help
improve bilateral communication
The agreement restores the high level of diplomatic representation that existed
before last September, when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expelled U.S.
Ambassador Patrick Duddy in solidarity with Bolivia.
The agreement to restore both ambassadors to their respective positions
reflects a shared desire to improve relations between our countries, whose ties
are deep in many areas. The U.S. is Venezuela's most important trading partner,
representing about 26 percent of imports and approximately 55 percent of
Venezuelan exports. In turn, Venezuela is America's third largest export market
in Latin America, buying U.S. machinery, transportation equipment, farm
commodities and auto parts.
An experienced career diplomat, Ambassador Duddy enjoys President Obama's full
confidence, as well as that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With his
imminent return to continue performing his duties as Ambassador to Venezuela,
full diplomatic representation will resume and our two nations will be better
able to work on issues of mutual concern.