Comrades…

(AFP)- Despite a simmering diplomatic row, President Hugo Chavez and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were seen having a brief, friendly chat Saturday at the inauguration of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.

“They talked and smiled, at least for five minutes. It looked like a social conversation, both were smiling,” a Brazilian official who witnessed the encounter told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The encounter came only three days after the United States revoked the visa of Venezuela’s ambassador in Washington, in reprisal for Chavez’s rejection of the US president’s appointed ambassador to Caracas.

But Chavez and Clinton were all smiles as they mingled with the presidents of Chile and Colombia and the prime minister of Portugal while waiting to meet Rousseff.

At one point, Chavez extended his hand to Clinton, who shook it, smiling. They chatted for a few minutes before moving on to formally greeting Rousseff.