(Press Unit of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the United States, June 26, 2009) On Friday at 5:00 pm, the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States, Bernardo Alvarez, arrived in the US capital. His return to the U.S. takes place immediately after the governments of President Barack Obama and President Hugo Chavez agreed yesterday via reciprocal diplomatic notes, to annul the measures taken against their respective ambassadors in Caracas and Washington in September of 2008.
Speaking from Ronald Reagan National Airport, Ambassador Alvarez told the press “that the reestablishment of ambassadors constitutes the first step in normalizing relations, recovering the political and diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, and reclaiming common ground in bilateral relations, such as in the area of energy cooperation.” Likewise, Alvarez pointed to “the historical importance of the decision of both presidents to choose the most expedient path towards the normalization of relations, by removing the persona non grata status placed on the ambassadors.”
This is an unusual measure in U.S. diplomacy.
In the exchange with the press, the newly reinstated ambassador also emphasized unresolved issues that require prompt attention, such as the extradition case of Luis Posada Carriles. Diplomatic relations between Venezuela and the United States deteriorated notably during the Bush administration. Since the election of President Barack Obama, both governments have expressed the desire to normalize relations.
This measure has received the support of many important sectors and people in both countries.