Following a series of criticisms from a US diplomat regarding Venezuela’s human rights record, the Venezuelan government is ending talks with the United States to restore diplomatic relations between both countries. Washington’s UN ambassador-designate Samantha Power compared Venezuela to Cuba, Iran, and Russia by stating that they were guilty of “crackdowns on civil society”.  The Venezuelan foreign ministry soon after released a statement advising that “the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is terminating the process that was started during the conversation in Guatemala, which was aimed at regularizing our diplomatic relations”. (July 20, 2013 Washington Post; July 20, 2013 The Guardian)