Published February 20, 2013
| Associated Press
CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela's government is criticizing the U.S. State Department for comments about a possible transition in the country, calling a spokeswoman's remarks an attempt by Washington to meddle in Venezuela's affairs.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland referred to the possibility of a new presidential election in Venezuela when asked on Tuesday about ailing President Hugo Chavez's return from Cuba.
Nuland noted that if Chavez should "become permanently unavailable to serve, our understanding is that the Venezuelan Constitution requires that there be an election to seek a new president."
Chavez's government said in a statement on Wednesday that her comments "constitute a new and rude interference by the government in Washington in the internal affairs of Venezuela."