Saturday, May 02, 2009

Venezuela's Chavez courts Iran as US shows concern

By RACHEL JONES CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez met with a delegation from Iran on Saturday to prepare for an upcoming visit from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — an alliance that has provoked concern in Washington. Venezuela's ambassador to Iran, David Velasquez, said following the meeting that Ahmadinejad's visit will deepen ties between the countries and "allow us to move ahead in the transfer of technology and industry," according to Venezuela's state-run Bolivarian News Agency. Latin America's leftist leaders have in recent years strengthened relations with countries including China and Iran — inroads that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday termed "quite disturbing." "They are building very strong economic and political connections with a lot of these leaders. I don't think that's in our interest," Clinton said. She said President Barack Obama's administration aims to improve deteriorating relations with Latin American nations including Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela to counter the growing influence of China, Iran and Russia in the region. [Continue reading]
digg story ~ Submitted by pookydirt

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