US bans aim to oust Venezuelan pres.: Defense Min.


Venezuela’s defense minister says the new tighter sanctions imposed on the country by the US are aimed at fomenting violent turmoil in the Latin American nation in a bid to topple its government.

“This US interference is aimed at promoting violence… against our institutions” in an effort to overthrow major Washington critic [Venezuelan] President Nicolas Maduro,” said Vladimir Padrino on Saturday during an interview with Telesur Television.

The development followed US President Barack Obama signing into law Thursday a bill that allows imposing sanctions against senior Venezuelan authorities accused by the US-backed opposition elements of violating the rights of anti-government protesters in rallies across the country earlier this year.

“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 emphasized.
Meanwhile, Maduro has persistently charged that the US is instigating the protest campaign against his government in a bid to overthrow him and even engineer his assassination.

The Venezuelan president also condemned the latest sanctions law against his nation in a series of Twitter posts this week, describing it as a “misstep” that resembled Washington policy of isolating Cuba, which was ultimately overturned Wednesday as Obama and Cuba’s President Raul Castro declared a bilateral rapprochement.

Caracas and Washington have had tense diplomatic relations since former popular President Hugo Chavez first rose to power in 1999, leading to the recall of ambassadors from both countries in 2010.

However, the United States still remains the main purchaser of Venezuelan oil supplies.