Mérida, 8th December 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has warned of “interventionist” activity emanating from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, and says he is reevaluating relations with his country’s northern neighbour.
In an interview with Telesur on Saturday Maduro claimed that actions being taken by the U.S. embassy were aimed at undermining Venezuela’s stability and were “beginning to become intolerable” despite Venezuelan efforts to “normalise diplomatic relations”.
“It’s lamentable that [U.S. president Barack] Obama allows his own U.S. embassy in Venezuela to act in a dangerous way…I have a lot of information about the interventionism of the U.S. embassy,” he said.
The Venezuelan head of state explained that as a result his administration was “reevaluating” relations with the U.S. “At the right moment I will pertinently explain to our nation the actions that I have to take,” he added.
Maduro also gave his opinion that racism had worsened in the U.S. under Obama. He said that the U.S. president had become “tired” of struggling for a progressive agenda and had “joined the worst causes, in the United States and the world”.
The comments are the latest indicator of the poor state of U.S. – Venezuelan relations, which have remained frosty since the early years of the administration of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
Venezuela accuses the U.S. of having supported the short-lived coup against Chavez in 2002 and of plotting to destabilise and overthrow the Bolivarian government. U.S. government agencies have funneled over $100 million to pro-opposition groups since 2002.
The U.S. meanwhile has expressed worry over some of Venezuela’s international alliances and has claimed the Bolivarian government displays authoritarian practices and tendencies domestically.
In July the United States introduced a visa and travel ban against a handful of top Venezuelan officials for what it says were “human rights abuses” committed during an opposition-led wave of unrest in the country earlier this year which caused 43 deaths.
Venezuelan officials counter that the opposition was responsible for the violence, and that any member of security forces suspected of using excessive force has been arrested or investigated.
In November an Obama administration spokesperson revealed the president’s willingness to support further sanctions against Venezuela which would freeze the financial assets of 27 Venezuelan government officials and increase funding for opposition groups. The proposed legislation is sponsored by Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio
Last month the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations to restrict exports to Venezuela of items intended for “a military end use or end user.” The term “military end user” is broad and refers to non military bodies such as the coast guard, police and government intelligence.
Meanwhile in January 2015 The U.S. State Department and U.S. Embassy in Caracas are to send a Queens – based brass band, The Street Beat Brass, to tour Venezuela as a goodwill gesture.
“Some of our nation’s most effective ambassadors are the U.S. educators, writers, artists, athletes and scientists,” said a State Department spokesperson.