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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 21:30 GMT 22:30 UK
Portugal raps Chavez over poster
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) is greeted by Portugal's Prime Minister Jose Socrates
Other campaign posters include the Cuban and Iranian leaders
Venezuela has apologised to Portugal after President Hugo Chavez used a picture of Portugal's Prime Minister Jose Socrates in an election poster.

Portugal said it was dissatisfied with its Socialist premier's image being used as part of Mr Chavez' campaign, ahead of 3 December presidential polls.

The poster depicts the two leaders, with the legend: "Breaking the blockade. Venezuela respects itself!"

Hundreds of thousands of Portuguese are estimated to live in Venezuela.

'Inappropriate'

The picture of the two men was taken in July when Mr Chavez briefly met the Portuguese prime minister at Lisbon's airport while on his way to Russia.

Venezuela's Ambassador to Portugal, Lucas Rincon Romero, was called to the foreign ministry on Thursday over the "inappropriate use" of the image of the prime minister and Portuguese flag.

"If there was any kind of particular interpretation [of the poster] we apologise," Venezuela's Communications Minister William Lara said.

Mr Lara said the poster had been removed from public spaces in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

Other campaign posters include Mr Chavez with Cuban President Fidel Castro and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


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