Chile refuses to respond to new declarations of President Chávez supporting Bolivia
From El Universal
President Hugo Chávez has irritated the Chilean government, while Santiago has stated it has no intentions to break up relations with Caracas, but it is waiting for a clarification from Venezuela
The Chilean government has decided not to respond to the new statements the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez made on Tuesday reiterating his support to Bolivia's demand to have an access to the sea, official sources said on Wednesday.
"Concerning the latest declarations made by President Chávez, the (Chilean) government has decided not to comment, and continue to hold the same stance it has held during the last weeks in connection with this topic," said official spokesman Francisco Vidal.
He added that "the Chilean government is no longer responding or reacting. It is not making comments, and it is maintaining its stance and allegations as expressed by Foreign Affairs Minister Soledad Alvear," news agency AP quoted Vidal as saying.
Alvear has rejected Chávez' statements and recalled the Chilean Ambassador to Venezuela, Fabio Vío, as a signal of discomfort from the Chilean government. Meanwhile, Venezuela recalled its diplomatic representative in Santiago.
On Tuesday, Chávez reiterated the declarations he made during a recent visit to Bolivia, saying "I still dream of taking a bath in a Bolivian beach."
"People are very sensitive," Chávez said, adding ironically that "Chile would also have to recall its Ambassador the U.N., as I have heard that (Secretary General) Kofi Annan has said just the same" I have said.
Annan originally expressed his willingness to mediate in a likely Bolivian petition to have an access to the sea, but he subsequently explained that he intended to act as a mere facilitator in the event that both Chile and Bolivia accepted it.
Chávez has irritated the Chilean government, while Santiago has stated it has no intentions to break up relations with Caracas, but it is waiting for a clarification from the Venezuelan President.
Chile believes that Chávez' support to Bolivia's demand to have an access to the sea is an interference in Chile's bilateral affairs.
Translated by Maryflor Suárez
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