The US State Department has declared that allegations linking the US ambassador to Colombia in a plot to overthrow and assassinate the Venezuelan president are “completely unfounded,” Colombia’s Semana newsmagazine reported on Thursday.
In response to accusations from the mayor of Venezuela’s capitol, Jorge Rodriguez, the US government denied that US Ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker, had any involvement in organizing an attempted coup to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
“We’ve seen many times that the Venezuelan government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States,” said a representative of the US State Department, quoted in Colombia’s Semana newsmagazine.
The representative adding that the accusations against Whitaker were “baseless and false.”
The representative went on to say that the charge “reflects a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan government in dealing with the grave situation,” and that Venezuela “should be focused on responding to the legitimate grievances of the Venezuelan people.”
According to the Caracas mayor and leader of the Socialist Party in Venezuela, evidence of the coup and assassination attempt came from intercepted emails sent between Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado, among others, and the US’s newly-appointed ambassador to Colombia.
The accusation came on Wednesday just as the US House of Representatives was passing a bill that called on Washington to impose sanctions on Venezuelan officials suspected of committing human rights violations.