CARACAS, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Caracas on Wednesday accused the United States of meddling in its internal affairs after U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland spoke Tuesday of ailing President Hugo Chavez's possible "unavailability" and the ensuing "transition."
The Venezuelan government said Nuland's comments represented "new and offensive meddling from Washington" in Venezuela's internal affairs.
"The statements made by this U.S. government spokesperson are perfectly in line with the discourse from Venezuela's destabilizing and corrupt right wing, which once again shows that bourgeoisie's subservience to the imperial interests," the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On Tuesday, a day after Chavez returned to Venezuela after two months in Cuba recovering from cancer surgery, Nuland was asked to comment on the situation in Venezuela, during a regular State Department press briefing.
"It's obviously a matter for Venezuelans to decide how the transition is going to take place .... Should President Chavez become permanently unavailable to serve. Our understanding is that the Venezuelan constitution requires that there be an election to seek a new president," said Nuland.
The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry responded that "the only transition that is planned is the transition towards Bolivarian socialism, under the leadership of the revolutionary government of Commander Hugo Chavez."
"The speculations by the aforementioned spokesperson on the situation of President Hugo Chavez and on Venezuelan institutions have caused great indignation among the Venezuelan people, who today accompany the president with enthusiasm and affection," the ministry added.
Upon his return, Chavez was admitted to Caracas' military hospital to continue his treatment.