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Venezuelan ambassador downplays Chavez's comments on freezing relations with Madrid

Venezuela and Spain have a common future, the Venezuelan ambassador in Madrid said Monday, downplaying an announcement by President Hugo Chavez that he was "freezing" bilateral relations until King Juan Carlos apologizes for telling him to shut up.

"The two countries have a common future beyond ups and downs," Ambassador to Spain Alfredo Toro said after holding a half-hour meeting with the top Foreign Ministry official for Latin America, Trinidad Jimenez.

Jimenez said that, "after hearing what President Chavez had said," she contacted the ambassador to "ask him if this would affect our bilateral relations."

She said Toro assured there was no change in the countries' bilateral relations.

On Nov. 10, Juan Carlos told Chavez to "shut up" during an Ibero-American summit in Chile after the Venezuelan leader called Spain's former premier, Jose Maria Aznar, a fascist.

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