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Statement of the State Department Is Out of Context

February 11, 2006

The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Washington, D.C., explains the statements given on Friday February 10, 2006 by the United States Department of State through their Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Sean McCormack, who stated that Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez has had full access to representatives of the State Department and has even met in a lunch setting with Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon, is information that was taken out of context.

On January 23, 2006, Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez received in his office a cordial visit by the director and vice-director of Andean Affairs. In this visit, arranged by their request, bilateral matters were not in discussion; on the other side, the point of this meeting was based on a trip that they were planning to make to Venezuela. This meeting was not manifested as a response from our request to meet Mr. Shannon.

Then, on January 25, there was an encounter with Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon in a GRULAC lunch, which took place at the residence of the Ambassador of Paraguay and in which bilateral affair issues were not discussed either.

Contrary to the statements of the State Department, the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and their Ambassador have not received a response to our request sent on November 15, 2005, to Assistant Secretary Thomas Shannon; request that was sent a week after Mr. Shannon took office as Assistant Secretary and was meant to discuss Venezuela-United States bilateral relations.

We understand that we cannot assume social events as a way to establish bilateral, matured and respectful relations. We ratify our desire to keep relations built on good willingness and mutual respect towards our bilateral matters.

Roraima Albornoz
Press Attache
Tel: 202 5316252

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