US seeks to overthrow Venezuela government: official

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (C), First Lady Cilia Flores (L) and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez are pictured at an event in Caracas on December 9, 2014Tighter new US sanctions against Venezuela are aimed to foment violent unrest to try to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, his defense minister said Saturday. “This US interference is aimed at promoting violence… against our institutions” to oust staunch US critic Maduro, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino told Telesur television. US President Barack Obama signed a law on Thursday to allow sanctions against senior Venezuelan officials accused of violating the rights of protesters during anti-government demonstrations that rocked the country earlier this year. The text approved just over a week ago by both houses of the US Congress would freeze assets and deny visas to Venezuelan authorities responsible for violence and political detentions triggered by the protests.

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