CARACAS, Monday January 18, 2010 | Update
The United States is willing to cooperate and work with the Venezuelan government and with other countries in the region with which the US has difficult relationships, said the US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg.
"We have common challenges and our arms are open. We are ready to work with him, as well as with other countries in the region with which we have difficult relationships," Steinberg said in an interview with Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, referring to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
As for the allegations that the United States is preparing an invasion against Venezuela, the top US official warned: "President Chávez says many things and one of the lessons we have learned is that sometimes it is not worthwhile to pay attention to the rhetorical excesses that we often hear in the Hemisphere."
According to Steinberg, his government does not respond to those allegations since "the United States has been clear and specific about its goals. We do not want to begin an argument about it."
"Allegations like this are frankly dumb. On the other hand, they are false. In addition to that, most people think the same way," he concluded.
Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.