Spain, which has had a rocky relationship with Venezuela over the past decade, will not send any high-level government official to attend the funeral services for President Hugo Chávez, who died on Tuesday.
The conservative Popular Party administration of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that Prince Felipe, along with the secretary of state for cooperation and Iberoamerican issues, Jesús García, will represent Spain at Chávez’s funeral on Friday.
Bilateral relations have soured over several issues, including Caracas’ expropriation of business interests and properties owned by Spanish citizens. Madrid has also accused the Chávez government of harboring ETA terrorists.
Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo has said that Spain was ready to “normalize economic relations” and hoped that there would be a peaceful and democratic transitional process.