US officials expected to attend Chavez funeral

By REUTERS
March 6, 2013 22:41

WASHINGTON - The United States is expected to send a delegation to Hugo Chavez's funeral later this week in a move that could send a conciliatory message to Venezuela now that its stridently anti-American leader has died.

Senior US officials also said on Wednesday that Washington had no immediate plans to respond in kind to Venezuela's expulsion of two US military attaches, which was announced on Tuesday by Vice President Nicolas Maduro just hours before he told the world of Chavez's death.

Maduro, Chavez's chosen successor, said on Tuesday that one of the expelled US diplomats tried to stir up a military plot against Chavez. He also said Chavez's cancer was an attack by Venezuela's enemies - an accusation the United States dismissed as absurd.

A senior State Department official said the United States was reviewing its response to Venezuela's expulsion of the two military officials and said it had the right to reciprocate in kind but for now it would not be doing so.


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