Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (below) has said he demanded respect from the United States during an encounter with Vice-President Joe Biden in Brazil.
Mr Maduro and Mr Biden met briefly after President Dilma
Rousseff's inauguration ceremony in Brasilia.
"I have demanded this time what we had demanded from the US
1,000 times before: a relationship based on respect, nothing else,"
said Mr Maduro.
Last month the US imposed sanctions on high-level Venezuelan
The bill targets current and
former Venezuelan officials who directed "significant acts of
violence or serious human rights abuses against persons associated
with the anti-government protests in Venezuela that began on 4
Mr Maduro said he met Mr Biden after coming out of a bilateral
meeting with Ms Rousseff at the Planalto presidential palace.
He described the meeting as "cordial and respectful".
"We have a government in Venezuela that complies with
international law and is appreciated and supported by the whole
continent," Mr Maduro told journalists.
"There is room for everyone in Latin America, and the
Americans must understand that," said Mr Maduro.
More than 40 people from both sides of the political divide were
killed in protests which took place in Venezuela between February and
The government said opposition leaders had incited protesters to
violence and had been planning a coup against President Maduro.
The opposition said its activists had been unfairly targeted for
their political convictions.
US sanctions were approved by both houses of the American Congress
and are expected to be signed into law by President Obama.
The bill has caused further friction between the two countries.
They have had difficult relations since the election of the
socialist President Hugo Chavez in 1998. Mr Chavez died in 2013 and
was succeeded by Mr Maduro.
Venezuela and the US last had ambassadors in each other's capitals
But any chances of a rapprochement may be boosted by the recent
agreement between the US and Cuba - Venezuela's main ally - to
restore diplomatic relations after more than 50 years of hostilities.