US denies it is meddling in Venezuela transition

January 3, 2013

WASHINGTON –  The United States on Thursday denied that it is meddling in a possible transition process in Venezuela amid growing demands for news about the health of cancer-stricken President Hugo Chávez.

Washington was in contact with “Venezuelans from across the political spectrum,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland acknowledged, asked about reports that US officials had had talks with Venezuelan leaders.

But she insisted: “Any political transition that takes place in Venezuela has to be product of decisions that are made by Venezuelans.”

“There’s no ‘made-in-America’ solution here. This has to be something that Venezuelans have to do,” Nuland stressed, without specifying who US officials were in contact with in the South American nation.

Top Venezuelan officials have been gathering in Cuba where Chávez underwent a long and complicated surgery 23 days ago for a recurrence of cancer, with Venezuelan officials admitting his recovery has been difficult.

Chávez, a fiery leftist who has been fiercely critical of the United States was re-elected on October 7 despite his long battle with cancer, is supposed to take office in a week for another six-year term.

But it was still unclear whether he would be fit to be sworn in as planned on January 10.

“The message that we are giving to Venezuelans of all stripes, that we want to see any transition be democratic, be constitutional, be open, be transparent, be legal within Venezuela, and that it has to be decided by Venezuelans,” Nuland said.

She said the US administration had seen reports of growing Venezuelan concern that the government in Caracas was “not being transparent” about the true state of the president’s health. 

On Wednesday, Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close Chávez friend and ally, said he had spoken to his family and his condition was “very worrying.”

“Let’s hope our prayers will be effective in saving the life of brother President Chávez,” Morales said of Chávez, the longtime leader of OPEC member Venezuela, which has the world’s largest proven oil reserves.

You may be interested

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada
Please Send Coffee!
597 views
Please Send Coffee!
597 views

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada

Gustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017

My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico
Weather
782 views
Weather
782 views

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico

John McPhaul - December 13, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
1883 views
Weather
1883 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…