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US slams 'outlandish allegations' from Venezuela
Thursday - 3/21/2013, 1:32pm EDT
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - The U.S. State Department says Venezuelan official claims of U.S.-based plots are "unsubstantiated and outlandish allegations."
Thursday's statement describes the allegations as "disappointing" and it rejects charges of "U.S. government involvement in any plots to destabilize the Venezuelan government or to harm anyone in Venezuela."
Venezuelan officials have stepped up anti-U.S. rhetoric ahead of an April 14 election to replace the late President Hugo Chavez.
Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Wednesday his government is suspending lines of communication set up by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson. Jaua accused Jacobson of helping opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.
Acting Presidentr Nicolas Maduro has said former U.S. officials were plotting to assassinate Capriles to foment a coup. He also has accused the U.S. of infecting Chavez with cancer.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)