- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, accused Vice President Joseph R. Biden of orchestrating a coup against his nation’s government — but the United States has weighed in to say hold on, that claim just isn’t true.

“We’ve seen the press reports about the accusations against the United States by officials of the Venezuelan government,” a State Department official told the Efe website. “Such an accusation is unfounded and false. Such accusations divert attention from Venezuela’s own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for what is occurring inside Venezuela.”

Mr. Maduro, just recently, blamed Mr. Biden for pressing forward with a plan to upend the Venezuela government.

“The imperial power of the North has entered a dangerous phase of desperation, and they have gone on to speak to governments of the hemisphere to announce the overthrow of my government,” he said during a rally over the weekend, Fox News Latino reported. “I accuse U.S. Vice President Joe Biden of having personally talked with presidents and prime ministers” about the plot.

U.S.-Venezuelan relations have been tense since 1999, when President Hugo Chavez, now deceased, came into power.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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