Washington: The Obama administration on Monday rejected accusations of any US involvement in a plot to assassinate a Venezuelan opposition leader.
"Let me say it here extremely clearly, looking right at you, the United States categorically rejects allegations of any US government involvement in any plot to destabilise the Venezuelan government or to harm anyone in Venezuela," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a regular press briefing.
The allegations were levelled a day earlier by Venezuelan acting President Nicolas Maduro, who accused former American diplomats Roger Noriega and Otto Reich as well as the Pentagon and the CIA of being behind a plot to assassinate Henrique Capriles, his rival in the presidential election set for April 14, 2013.
Maduro told a private channel that he had reliable information to show that the US plot aimed to "blame the government" for the attack and "create chaos in Venezuela."
Since president Hugo Chavez's death of cancer earlier in March 2013, the Venezuelan government has accused Washington of trying to destabilize the South American nation.