Venezuelan ambassador cheered, jeered

04/25/08 Alvaro Montealegre
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Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, Ambassador of Venezuela to the United States, spoke yesterday at the University of South Florida in Tampa and at Eckerd College in St Petersburg.

At USF, an audience of about 100 people, despite detractors, greeted the ambassador warmly.

Herrera gave his perspective on happenings in the hemisphere, recent developments in relations between Venezuela and the U.S. and the challenges facing Venezuela. He discussed their view on pre-emptive war, the unity of Latin American countries being forged in rejection of neo-liberal economic models and he gave a glimpse of expectations for the near future of Venezuelan politics.

Herrera focused on the same points in his presentation at Eckerd College. There, he was received by at least 200 people.

At USF, upset because she had not yet been picked to ask a question, a protestor, Raquel Ache, interrupted. She claimed that she was being purposely prevented from doing so. She left the room and came back with a sign that said no more Chavez; a message she also shouted out. Supporters in the audience clapped; but, they were matched by another group equally determined saying “Viva Chavez.”

The event at Eckerd went on with no incidents.

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