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Chavez Victory Should Trigger Diplomacy from U.S.

The re-election of Hugo Chavez is the perfect opportunity for the Bush Administration to bury the hatchet with our fourth largest oil supplier and begin a policy of engagement with Venezuela.

President Hugo Chavez's landslide victory in Sunday's election provides an opportunity to open a new chapter of US-Venezuelan relations. It was one of the most internationally monitored elections in recent memory, with observers from the Organization of American States and the European Union once again approving the results and the process. This is the fourth time that Chavez has stood for election and won, if we include the recall referendum of August 2004, which he won by a similar margin. As the famous Brazilian sociologist Helio Jaguaribi recently remarked, Chavez is "the most elected president in the hemisphere."

The full text of this article will become available on the Center for Economic and Policy Research's website.

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research , in Washington, DC.

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