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Hugo Chavez says Venezuela-U.S. relations will improve

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Closer relations between Venezuela and the United States are no doubt coming soon, President Hugo Chávez said Saturday, adding that the two countries may soon return each other's ambassadors to their posts.

Chávez made the statement after a dozen South American leaders met with President Barack Obama Saturday morning at the Fifth Summit of the Americas. Chávez called the meeting ``extraordinary.''

''I feel great optimism and the best of good will to advance. We have started off on the right foot,'' Chávez said in a statement released by his office, which noted that he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed renewing each other's ambassadors.

The ambassadors were yanked last year in a diplomatic flap that started in Bolivia.

''It's time to have a true start of a new history, for there to be balance, that there's an end to the mechanisms of domination,'' Chávez said.

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