BEIRUT — The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group has denied U.S. assertions that it has cells in Venezuela saying the Latin American nation “does not need them.”

Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech Saturday that his Iran-backed group is in “solidarity with the political leadership and state of Venezuela against the American aggression.”

Nasrallah added that his group does not have influence in Venezuela nor does it have cells operating there.

Venezuela has plunged deeper into political chaos following by the U.S. demand that President Nicolas Maduro steps down a month into his second term, which the U.S. and allies consider illegitimate.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that “Hezbollah has active cells” in Venezuela and “Iranians are impacting the people of Venezuela and throughout South America.”

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