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Venezuela rejects US accusation that country not fully complying in anti-terrorism efforts
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) ' Venezuela condemned a U.S. State Department report Froiday for saying the South American CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) ' Venezuela condemned a U.S. State Department report Friday for saying the South American country's government is not fully cooperating in anti-terrorism efforts.
Venezuela's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. report is plagued with false information and "veiled threats."
The report, which was released Thursday, expresses concern about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's close ties with Iran. It also accuses his government of taking no action against Venezuelan government and military officials that the U.S. has accused of links to Colombian rebels.
In strongly rejecting the accusations, Venezuela said the U.S. government has no "moral authority" to judge other countries on such issues, saying it has committed "massacres of civilians in its numerous fronts of war."
The U.S. State Department "tends to classify as terrorists or accommodating toward terrorism those governments and political organizations that don't yield to its imperial intentions of global domination," the Foreign Ministry said.
It said the Venezuelan government will continue to "form alliances with the countries of its choosing."
Venezuela reiterated its criticisms of U.S. authorities for not turning over former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles, who is wanted in Venezuela on charges of planning the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. It said the U.S. has provided "refuge and protection" to Posada.
There have been long-standing tensions between the U.S. and Venezuelan governments, even as the South American country has remained a major oil supplier to the United States.
Relations grew particularly strained after the State Department in May imposed sanctions on the state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, saying it had shipped fuel to Iran.
The U.S. Embassy in Caracas has been without an ambassador since July 2010. Chavez rejected the U.S. nominee for ambassador, Larry Palmer, accusing him of making disrespectful remarks about Venezuela's government. That led Washington to respond in December by revoking the visa of the Venezuelan ambassador.