Biden, Maduro shake hands, exchange words at Brazil meet

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on December 30, 2014Brasília (AFP) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for “respectful relations” when he shook hands with US Vice President Joe Biden on the sidelines of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s swearing in, he said Friday. The encounter marked the first top-level meeting between the countries since US President Barack Obama signed a law allowing sanctions against Venezuelan officials suspected of violating the rights of protesters who held anti-government demonstrations last year. I told Vice President Biden — and have said it 1,000 times in public and in private — we want respectful relations, nothing more,” Maduro told journalists Friday after a meeting with Rousseff. Grinning he told Maduro: “If I had your hair, I’d be president of the United States,” Brazilian financial daily Valor reported, adding Maduro guffawed at the quip.

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