The Venezuelan embassy in Dominica is reporting the situation in that South American country as ‘normal’ following days of mass protests.
“We would like to inform that presently the situation is normal; there are few focal points of disturbances remaining but only in few middle class areas in Caracas,” the embassy said in a release on Tuesday.
It noted that “some disturbances” were experienced on February 12 during which three people were killed.
The embassy blamed the disturbances on the opposition.
Media reports indicate on that day vigilantes on motorcycles attacked demonstrators by firing into the crowd and setting off a stampede.
The demonstations were held to vent frustration over president Nicholas Maduro’s handling of the inflation-plagued Venezuelan economy, worsening crime and human rights concerns.
“We are presently investigating this matter to identify those responsible,” the statement from the embassy noted.
The embassy also accused the US Sub-Secretary of State of ‘despicable blackmail’ and said that the Venezuelan government “was forced to expel three officials from the Embassy of the United States of America for their involvement in these protests, with the objective of overthrowing the democratically elected government led by President Nicolas Maduro.”
In an official press statement, the US State Department rejected Venezuela’s accusations and urged dialogue.
“The allegation that the United States is helping to organise protesters in Venezuela is baseless and false. We support human rights and fundamental freedoms – including freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly – in Venezuela as we do in countries around the world,” spokeswoman Jan Psaki said.
The Venezuelan embassy expressed thanks to various governments which stand in solidarity with its home country, “especially to the Government of Dominica led by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.”
The government of Dominica has said it stood in solidarity with Maduro as the elected president of Venezuela and has condemned the violence taking place in that country.
On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement expressing concern about the rising tensions in Venezuela.
Mass demonstrations have been held to protest high inflation, crime and the shortage of some staples.
But the government has blamed the shortages on “saboteurs” and “profit-hungry corrupt businessmen”.