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Latin America market round-up: Hugo Chávez watch


Tensions between Venezuela and Mexico are escalating following a war of words that began at last month’s Summit of the Americas trade meeting. Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez called Mexico “an ally of the empire” and “a puppy of the United States” for backing George W Bush’s plan to create a region-wide free trade zone.

Chávez also questioned what benefits Mexico’s membership of the North American Free Trade Agreement had brought. President Vicente Fox “says it’s going very well for them,” said Chávez. So “it must be asked then why the number of people emigrating is increasing”. Mexico’s administration claims the matter is closed, while a presidential spokesman said he hopes relations between the two countries will be re-established soon.

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