Chávez, Evo hail Obama's victory, call for "new relations"

Hugo Chávez says he is ready to talk to Barack Obama despite the president-elect's past criticism of the Venezuelan leader. "We are convinced that the hour has arrived to establish new relations between our countries and our regions, based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, equality and true cooperation," the Venezuelan government statement read. Bolivian President Evo Morales likewise said, "I am sure that relations between the Bolivian government and the US government are going to improve."

Obama's win, however, promised to complicate relations with Colombia, which still awaits US Congressional approval of a free-trade agreement signed by the two governments in 2006. In a presidential debate with John McCain, Obama invoked the assassination of labor leaders in Colombia, and said: "For far too long, certainly