Venezuela's Foreign Minister Elias Jaua speaks during a meeting with representatives of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) at the Foreign Ministry in Caracas February 28, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins )
Venezuela has stopped all communications with a top U.S diplomat in wake of the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and ahead of the country's presidential election next month, announced a foreign minister on Wednesday.
In a news conference, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said that U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson had violated Venezuela's sovereignty and he accused Jacobson of supporting opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.
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"We want normal relations with the United States based on mutual respect," Jaua said.
He said the government had formally "suspended any contact and any communication that had been established with the call of Mrs. Jacobson in the month of November." Yet in still he said that diplomatic and consular relations would remain in tact between the two countries.
Last year, the country established contact with the senior U.S. diplomat for Latin America in order to improve bilateral ties after years of tensions.
However, Jaua said that was now on hold after Jacobson's recent statements about the April 14 election to replace Hugo Chavez.
"With Jacobson's latest comments ... we have realized that it doesn't make sense to continue wasting our time," Jaua said.
"Ms. Jacobson inadvertently said something that's true, which is that her candidate is Henrique Capriles," he said, referring to Jacobson's interview with Spain's El Pais newspaper last week.
During the interview, Jacobson was asked about if Capriles could win.
She responded by saying, "Anyone can win ... Capriles could be a very good president, but we do not have a favourite."
On the day of Chavez's death on March 5, Venezuela expelled two U.S. diplomats on charges of attempting to conspire with the Venezuelan military.