In an act of solidarity with Bolivia, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expelled U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy on Sept. 11, one day after Bolivian President Evo Morales had declared Ambassador Philip Goldberg “persona non grata.” Proclaiming that “until there is a government in the United States that respects the people of Latin America, there will be no Venezuelan Ambassador in that country,” Chavez withdrew veteran ambassador Bernardo Alvarez from Washington, just a step ahead of his expulsion.
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As the struggle sharpened to uphold national authority and oppose forces for autonomy in Bolivia’s East, Washington’s role in weeks of conflict there led the government of Evo Morales to eject U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg on Sept. 10.