After being rejected by Chávez, Washington sends ambassador Larry Palmer to the Caribbean
Ambassador Larry Palmer finds a home in the Caribbean after being rebuffed Venezuela. (Wikipedia)
Ambassador Larry Palmer, whose nomination as ambassador to Caracas was rejected by Hugo Chávez in August 2010, was designated yesterday by President Barack Obama as U.S. representative for the Anglophone Caribbean, with a base of operations in the city of Bridgetown, Barbados.
Palmer, whose sharp criticism of the Chávez regime provoked outrage and a declaration of persona non grata by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, will be the U.S. ambassador to the islands of Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Palmer will also be ambassador to the government of Antigua and Barbuda, considered one of the favorite tax havens for wealthy Venezuelans, many of them connected with the Chávez regime.
At least three Venezuelan banks have capital and operational headquarters on the island of Antigua. Two banks that operated with Venezuelan private capital, Stanford Bank and Interactions Banking Corp., are in the middle of government intervention, and are facing legal proceedings in U.S. federal courts.
Palmer was in limbo for over a year, after Obama refused to withdraw his nomination as ambassador after Caracas’ rejection. As a result, Venezuela was also without an ambassador in the U.S. capital.
Palmer’s appointment leaves the door open for new nominations to the Caracas post, which could lead to a resumption of diplomatic relations between U.S. and Venezuela, held so far at the level of charges d’affaires.