Venezuelan foreign minister disses “criminal” Negroponte

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro June 2 told reporters that US Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte—leading Washington’s delegation to the 38th session of the Organization of American States general assembly in MedellĂ­n—is “a little official with a criminal record.” Then, before the assembly, he accused Washington of sponsoring a campaign to “spread violence in the region.” Maduro was reacting to Negroponte’s remarks earlier that day that the Colombia’s FARC guerillas “sought refuge in Venezuela.” Without naming Venezuela, Negroponte asked Colombia’s neighbors to help prevent guerillas from taking shelter on their soil. The US “categorically rejects” the Maduro’s epithets, said US delegate to the OAS HĂ©ctor Morales. (El Universal, Caracas, June 3)

After MedellĂ­n, Negroponte visited El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to discuss DR-CAFTA, security concerns, and development cooperation with local leaders. (State Department press release, May 30)

See our last posts on Venezuela, Colombia and Central America.