MOSCOW: Venezuela is a victim of multifaceted U.S. aggression, the country’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Friday.
Washington anointed an unpopular politician to lead the country, she told a news conference after meeting in Moscow with Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister.
“I want the whole world to hear that Mr. Juan Guaido is a deputy who was elected to the Venezuelan parliament by 7,000 votes, who was second even in his district, not to mention the country. And now this man walks the streets in protest and declare himself[interim]
president,” Rodriguez said.
Guaido cooperates with foreign governments to harm his own country, to attack the legitimate government and people, she charged.
Rodriguez said Guaido is in close touch with U.S. Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, a figure she said is well known for organizing coups in other countries.
“There are steps aiming to create illegal military groups, in line with the U.S. tradition of creating terrorist, extremist illegal groups,” she said. “The whole world knows they do it, it’s no secret. The U.S. supports extremist groups to destabilize the world.”
On Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s unwillingness to hold another presidential election, she said he is defending the Constitution, which says there can be no new poll before 2025.
– US, UK ‘robbed’ Venezuela
Rodriguez blasted the U.S. and the U.K. freezing Venezuelan assets, saying: “Venezuela will defend its interests through legal means.”
“This is armed robbery, they steal our financial resources which Venezuela could use to resolve the humanitarian crisis,” she said.
“The crisis in Venezuela was caused artificially to create a pretext for military intervention. Venezuela needs only one thing — the lifting of the blockade that prevents the flow of everything into the country,” she said.
– Russia to continue support for Venezuela
For his part, Lavrov expressed full support to the Venezuelan government and readiness to participate in humanitarian aid delivery.
He praised Brazil and Columbia’s refusal to provide their territories as a foothold for possible military intervention in Venezuela.
“If they keep their word and strictly adhere to this position, the U.S. plans will not be implemented,” he said.
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions escalated when Guaido, who heads Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself acting president, a move which was supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Turkey, Russia, Iran, Cuba, China, and Bolivia put their weight behind Maduro, who has vowed to cut all diplomatic and political ties with the U.S. (AA)