Obama: Iran and Cuba ties don't benefit Venezuela

December 19, 2011 18:37

CARACAS - The United States believes increasingly warm ties between Venezuela, Iran and Cuba do not benefit the Venezuelan people, US President Barack Obama said in an interview with a Venezuelan newspaper published on Monday.

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have expanded the two OPEC nation's close business and political relations in recent years, exacerbating tensions between Caracas and Washington.

In May, the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA for defying US law by sending at least two tankers carrying $50 million in oil products to Iran.

"Venezuela is a proud, sovereign nation ... The US has no intention of intervening in Venezuela's foreign relations," Obama said in the email interview with El Universal newspaper. "However, I think the government's ties with Iran and Cuba have not benefited the interests of Venezuela and its people."

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