President Hugo Chavez on Sunday rejected Larry Palmer as the US ambassador-designate to Venezuela, and urged US President Barack Obama to "look for another candidate."
"How can you think I’d accept this gentleman coming here? You’d best withdraw him, Obama. Don’t insist, I’m asking you," said Chavez in his weekly "Alo Presidente" radio and television show. Palmer recently voiced concern about Cuba’s growing influence in the Venezuelan military, which, he said was "considerably low" in morale and professionalism.
In written answers to a US lawmaker’s questions — his nomination as ambassador must be confirmed by the Senate — Palmer also said there were "clear ties" between leftist Colombian guerrillas and Chavez’s government.