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Spain Seeks to End Venezuela Tension

Spain on Thursday sought to end an escalating dispute with Venezuela that started when Spanish King Juan Carlos told Venezuela's president to "shut up" during bad-tempered exchanges at a summit meeting.

Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said "fewer gestures and more action" were needed to ease tensions, a day after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned he was carefully watching the actions of Spanish companies in his country.

"Spain will remain serene, firm and will defend its interests without adding any more unnecessary gestures," Moratinos told a meeting with politicians, diplomats and journalists.

The dispute began at a summit meeting in Chile on Saturday when Chavez accused former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of backing a coup that briefly removed him from power in 2002 and repeatedly called Aznar "fascist."

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