The Venezuelan government on Tuesday rejected a U.S. report which rated Venezuela's fight against human trafficking poorly, saying it was "part of the greater campaign to discredit President Hugo Chavez."
Venezuelan National Assembly legislators had passed laws against people trafficking and the government planned to invest 170,000 U.S. dollars in fighting the trade during 2006, said a statement issued by the Venezuelan embassy in the United States.
In its annual Trafficking in Persons Report of the U.S. State Department, Venezuela was listed among 12 nations rated "Tier 3": the worst offenders who could face sanctions if they do not take counter-measures within 90 days.
During the last 12 months, Venezuelan authorities have made great efforts to protect victims of human trafficking, sentence smugglers, and help police and public institutions to solve the problem, the Venezuelan press reported.
There was no evidence to support the U.S. government's accusations, the statement added.