WASHINGTON, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Thursday rejected allegations of its envoy aiding coup plots against the Venezuelan government.
"These allegations are absolutely false and baseless," State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said at a daily news briefing, adding "We've seen many times the Venezuelan government try to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela."
Jorge Rodriguez, mayor of Venezuela's capital city of Caracas, told reporters on Wednesday that the authorities had uncovered a plot by opposition leaders, international financiers and officials backed by the U.S. State Department to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro and take over the country.
Kevin Whitaker, the U.S. ambassador to Colombia, was allegedly helping opposition leader Maria Corina Machado foment violent regime change in the South American nation.
Venezuela has been rocked by violent protests since February and Maduro is asked to step down. The clashes have left 42 people dead and 835 others injured.
The U.S. Congress is mulling sanctions on Venezuelan officials for human rights abuses, but the State Department does not support this move for now.
"The real issues are ones that must be the subject of serious inclusive dialogue among Venezuelans with actions to address the legitimate grievances of the Venezuelan people," Psaki said.
Washington and Caracas have not had an exchange of ambassadors since July 2010 and engaged in tit-for-tat expulsions of each other's diplomats.