US willing to improve relations with Venezuela despite expulsion of consul
"I do not think we've had any major change in our policy regarding Venezuela," said State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland
The United States remains open to exploring ways to improve relations with Venezuela, even though Washington expelled Venezuelan Consul General to Miami Livia Acosta on Friday, said Thursday US State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
"I do not think we've had any major change in our policy regarding Venezuela," Nuland said, AFP reported.
The spokeswoman acknowledged that Washington's relations with the government of President Hugo Chávez "have been complex and difficult."
"But that does not change the fact that if there are ways to improve, we would be open" to that possibility, said Nuland.
The US government advised last Friday Venezuelan consul to Miami Livia Acosta that she had been declared persona non grata and asked her to leave the country.
The expulsion of Acosta came after the Spanish-language network Univisión broadcast a documentary claiming that she was involved in an alleged Iranian plot to launch cyber attacks against the United States. The plot was reportedly orchestrated in Mexico years ago, when the diplomat was working in that country.
Regarding US congressmen's request for an investigation into Venezuelan diplomatic missions, Nuland said that job "is not the responsibility of the State Department," but intelligence agencies.
The State Department "fully cooperates with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and other agencies responsible for ensuring that diplomats here act pursuant to the mandate of the Vienna Convention," said Nuland.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil on March 13 to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff, carrying banners expressing anger at bribery scandals and economic woes. A banner read "We don't want a new Venezuela in Brazil."