ANKARA: History shows that the U.S. has always wanted control over the Americas, and the fight Venezuela is waging is the same independence fight Latin America waged in the 1800s, in the wake of the U.S.’ Monroe Doctrine, Venezuela’s foreign minister said Tuesday.
“When Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua or other Latin American countries want to establish economic relations with Russia, Turkey, China, and India, they say Washington doesn’t permit other potential powers in its Americas,” Jorge Arreaza told a news conference in the Turkish capital Ankara, where he is paying an official visit.
Arreaza stressed that the U.S. sees Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution as a threat because it is a “well-functioning” political alternative, not because the country has nuclear weapons or represents a risk to U.S. national security.
He said Venezuela’s natural resources belong to its people, not to the U.S., unlike 20 years ago, referring to the start of the Bolivarian revolution which brought the late Hugo Chavez to power.
For three years the U.S. has been talking about a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela that does not exist, said Arreaza, adding that the U.S. is willing to “create a crisis” with new sanctions.
Venezuela’s foreign minister said he met with Elliott Abrams, the special U.S. envoy for Venezuela, but that the U.S. offer to talk issues does not include the political situation, dialogue, or respect for the United Nations and Venezuelan laws.
The foreign minister thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish people for supporting Venezuela.
“Nothing and no one can interfere with the cooperation between the two sovereign and free countries,” he added.
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term as president following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions flared when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan. 23 — a move supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Turkey, Russia, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have put their weight behind Maduro. (AA)