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Baird strikes Venezuela off Americas tour

OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is postponing his trip to Venezuela this week.

Baird had been scheduled to hold meetings with government counterparts and other opposition representatives as part of a six-country tour of Latin America.

Venezuela's strongman president Hugo Chavez was unexpectedly released from a Cuban hospital Monday and returned home.

Chavez has spent the last two months receiving cancer treatment in Cuba.

Baird told The Canadian Press on the weekend that he wanted to hold talks on increasing opportunities for Canadian businesses in Venezuela.

Baird also said he didn't see eye to eye with the Venezuelans on their growing relations with Iran, a country Canada severed relations with last year and that faces United Nations sanctions over its nuclear ambitions.

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