PP demands Caracas ambassador's recall
13 November 2007, MADRID - The main opposition Popular Party on Monday demanded that Spain recall its ambassador to Venezuela as tensions continued to escalate between the two countries following a heated row at the Iberoamerican Summit in Chile on Saturday.
13 November 2007
MADRID - The main opposition Popular Party on Monday demanded that Spain recall its ambassador to Venezuela as tensions continued to escalate between the two countries following a heated row at the Iberoamerican Summit in Chile on Saturday.
PP Secretary General Ángel Acebes made the demand after Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez implicated King Juan Carlos in the attempted coup to overthrow him in 2002, labeled the former PP prime minister, José María Aznar, a "fascist" and called the PP's current leader, Mariano Rajoy, "excrement."
"The ambassador should be recalled from Venezuela and the foreign minister should appear before Congress to explain how the summit ended up becoming an anti-Spanish circus," Acebes declared. However, the government appeared unwilling to risk escalating the dispute further, preferring instead to try to smooth over the controversy that began when King Juan Carlos told Chávez to "shut up" during the closing session of the Iberoamerican Summit on Saturday.
"What has happened will not affect bilateral relations between Spain and Venezuela," a foreign ministry source argued. "We have absolutely no intention of recalling the ambassador." For its part, the royal household said in a brief statement that "the incident is over" as far as the king is concerned.
Socialist Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who called for Chávez to show respect after Saturday's incident, has worked hard to improve Spanish-Venezuelan ties since coming to power in 2004. Under Aznar, the ambassador in Caracas and his US counterpart met with the man who briefly replaced Chávez in 2002, Pedro Carmona.
[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ CARLOS E. CUÉ / LUIS R. AIZPEOLEA 2007]
Subject: Spanish news