Mon, Dec 22, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Venezuelan official says US trying to topple government

AFP, CARACAS

Tighter new US sanctions against Venezuela are aimed to foment violent unrest to try to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, his defense minister said on Saturday.

“This US interference is aimed at promoting violence ... against our institutions” to oust staunch US critic Maduro, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino told Telesur television.

US President Barack Obama signed a law on Thursday to allow sanctions against senior Venezuelan officials accused of violating the rights of protesters during anti-government demonstrations from February to May that left more than 43 people dead and thousands of activists were arrested.

Maduro has repeatedly accused the US of fomenting the protests and seeking to overthrow and even assassinate him.

“The background of all this is much more nuanced. It is dangerous because these are the steps they are taking so that they can try to have the world see the Venezuelan state as a failed one,” Padrino said.

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