Venezuela’s president has vowed to reject the U.S. nominee for ambassador to the South American country.
Hugo Chávez said Saturday in a televised speech that Larry Palmer will not be allowed to take up his post because the diplomat has been critical of Caracas.
Palmer upset the Chávez administration when he told a U.S. senator that morale was low in the Venezuelan military. Palmer also expressed concern about Colombian rebels finding refuge in Venezuela.
President Chávez says he has told Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro to detain Palmer if he tries to enter Venezuela.
The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Palmer’s appointment soon.
Friday Venezuelan lawmakers voted to allow Chávez to bypass parliament and rule by decree for 18 months. That move was denounced by opposition rivals and the U.S. government.