February 20, 2015 / 7:30 PM / 5 years ago

White House says considering 'tools' to help steer Venezuela

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - The Obama administration is considering additional “tools” that can help “steer” the Venezuelan government in a more positive direction, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Friday.

Asked whether the U.S. government is considering any new sanctions against Venezuela or actions in concert with regional U.S. allies, Earnest said: “The Treasury Department and the State Department are closely monitoring this situation and are considering tools that may be available that can better steer the Venezuelan government in the direction that they believe they should be headed.”

Earnest said allegations by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that the United States was trying to destabilize the Maduro government were “ludicrous.”

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Eric Beech

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