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IN BRIEF / AND FINALLY ...

Ambassador Criticized in Ridicule of Chavez

May 16, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Venezuela's government sharply criticized U.S. Ambassador Charles Shapiro for hosting an event at his official Caracas residence during which a male comedian dressed as a woman used a puppet to ridicule President Hugo Chavez. Senior Venezuelan officials heaped criticism on the ambassador, but made clear they did not want the incident to affect bilateral ties.

The U.S. Embassy issued a statement saying, "We regret if anyone felt offended." But it added the ambassador could not be held responsible for what any of his guests had said or done.

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