Non-aligned countries reject US sanctions on Venezuela

Venezuela's U.N. ambassador has read out a statement from a group of 120 developing countries rejecting President Barack Obama's decision to renew sanctions on several of his country's top officials.

The statement Friday from the Non-Aligned Movement of countries not formally linked to any major power bloc expressed its support for Venezuela and criticized the Obama administration.

A year ago, the U.S. sanctioned seven Venezuelan officials, accusing them of perpetrating human rights violations and corruption in the socialist-governed country. This week, Venezuelan officials said Obama had informed leaders in Congress that the sanctions would be renewed because the situation in Venezuela had not improved.

Ambassador Rafael Ramirez told reporters at the U.N. that Venezuela believes the sanctions are an effort "to destabilize our country and our government."