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Venezuela Rejects U.S. Official's Remarks

The Venezuelan government rejected comments by a senior U.S. official who called President Hugo Chavez a threat to democracy, saying they revealed that Washington's overtures for rapprochement were insincere.

John Negroponte, a former director of national intelligence who is designated for the No. 2 position in the U.S. State Department, said Tuesday that Chavez poses a threat to democracies in Latin America.

I do not think he has been a constructive force in the hemisphere," Negroponte, a veteran career diplomat who also served as the ambassador to Honduras and Mexico, testified at his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing.

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