The U.S. government contradicted itself Friday afternoon regarding its interventionist policies on Venezuela by saying that the White House was considering adopting new “tools” to “steer” the Venezuelan government “in a more positive direction.”
White House spokesperson Josh Ernest was asked by reporters whether Washington was considering new sanctions against the Latin American country in light of the arrest on Thursday of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, accused of plotting to topple the democratically-elected government of President Nicolas Maduro with the support of the Obama administration.
“The Treasury Department and the State Department are closely monitoring this situation and are considering tools that may be available that can better steer the Venezuelan government in the direction that they believe they should be headed,” Ernest said.
Earnest said allegations by Maduro that the United States was trying to destabilize his government were “ludicrous.”
Friday’s statement by Ernest contradicts Thursday’s State Department press release that stated, “The United States is not promoting unrest in Venezuela nor are we attempting to undermine Venezuela’s economy or its government.”
It also states, “The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Consistent with the principles enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the United States reaffirms the region’s commitment that changes in governments must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and in accordance with the rule of law.”
Early February, the United States imposed new unilateral sanctions against Venezuela, a measure that was widely rejected and condemned by various international organizations and governments, including the Non-Aligned Movement, which is integrated by 120 nations. The NAM is a group of countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.