Maduro to Obama: Worry About Your Own Country

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro sat down for an exclusive interview with teleSUR host Ernesto Villegas, for the debut of his new program, tackling tough questions on the economic war being waged against the country, while addressing allegations made against his government.      

President Maduro, as the first guest on Villegas’ new program called “Siete Preguntas,” or “Seven Questions,” sought to put to rest rumors and accusations brought against him by the opposition.

Maduro was frank in his assessment of the challenges facing Venezuela but remained optimistic that the present challenges would be overcome.   

“We are going through difficult times but we are here … Our project is destined to be victorious,” said Maduro.        

President Maduro had harsh words for U.S. President Barack Obama, who is nearing the end of his time in the White House, saying that Obama bid goodbye to Venezuela in a manner befitting his predecessor, George W. Bush. 

“In the U.S. there are thousands of children deported, the prison in Guantanamo, (Obama) also denies his responsibility in the disasters in Libya, Iraq,” the president said.         

“Obama, who are you to comment about Venezuela, you should worry about your country.”        

In light of Obama's official visit as president to Cuba this month, the Venezuelan leader said he saw through Obama's strategy to sow division between Venezuela and Cuba.        

“We and Cuba will continue building socialism,” said Maduro, who said that the bond between the two countries was as strong as ever, adding Obama's visit to Cuba also represents a victory for the island.       

The Venezuelan president also fielded difficult questions regarding corruption among state officials and the still rampant problem of hoarding of basic items and the selling of contraband goods.    

Maduro called on Venezuelans to act in their neighborhoods to eliminate the sale of contraband goods and replace them with “solidarity distribution networks.”      

He was sincere in his evaluation of the work done thus far by the state to root out corruption.     

“We’ve seen important progress but not as fast as one would wish,” said Maduro.   

The president also emphasized that a “mafia” continues to hoard goods, adding that authorities recently discovered yet another warehouse full of Venezuelan-produced food. 

It’s economic schemes like this, the president says, along with the lowered income from oil that is destabilizing Venezuela’s economy.       

The Venezuelan president emphasized the need to move away from the country's dependence on oil income, highlighting a dramatic drop in oil revenue.        

“We have minimal, minimal, minimal income from oil,” Maduro said.   

Villegas also asked the president if the opposition victory in parliamentary elections last December signaled a defeat of socialism in Venezuela.  

Maduro said he attributes the opposition’s December victory not as a rejection of socialism but a victory for the economic war being waged against the country, while acknowledging that Venezuela’s democracy was working as it should, imposing limits on the executive’s powers. 

“I cannot dissolve the National Assembly,” he said. “I am head of state and head of government but I have limits.”

Despite his criticisms of Obama, he and Maduro have at least one thing in common. President Maduro, like Obama, has been accused of being unable to hold office for allegedly not having been born inside the country.        

As with the infamous “Birther movement” in the United States, members of the Venezuelan opposition are trying to create doubt to discredit the legitimacy of the presidency. This accusation formed the basis of one of the questions asked of the Venezuelan leader.

The opposition cannot “distort the truth” that I am Venezuelan, Maduro said, adding that his birth certificate is a public document.

Venezuela’s Maduro Urges Iran to Defend Crude Oil Prices

The Venezuelan President congratulated his Iranian counterpart for the lifting of international economic sanctions against Iran and urged him to defend the oil market and recover oil prices to the “required, fair and stable levels”.

  • Published in World

Venezuela: Opposition Seeks Leaving Government Leaderless

Caracas, Nov 7 (Prensa Latina) The opposition in Venezuela is focusing its efforts to leave the government of President Nicolas Maduro without a leader and is threatening to withdraw from the dialogue with authorities if that objective is not achieved.

The dialogue, which started on November 30 under the auspices of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Vatican and three ex presidents from other countries, must show the first results of four negotiation tables that are dealing with the issues that most affect Venezuelans this weekend.

However, although there are punctual issues like the economic situation and the induced and galloping inflation, the so-called Table of Democratic Unity (MUD, in Spanish) threatens to leave the talks on November 11 if President Maduro is not ousted, instead of focusing on what the people really matter.

In that regard, the first vice president of the United National Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, on Sunday warned that the right wing is trying to find loopholes in the Constitution to try to get rid of the president.

At the talks, he pointed out, they are setting conditions, including ending the government and threatening to leave the negotiation tables, from where, he noted, 'they will have to leave because we will not accept anything outside the Constitution.'

The process to reach a possible agreement has repeatedly been supported domestically and abroad, while it is considered an alternative to prevent clashes and preserve peace in the country.

After the two sides presented their issues, a Hinterlaces survey published over the weekend showed that 60 percent of those polled think that the opposition in Venezuela, represented by the MUD, is divided and does not presents any plan or project to solve the economic problems, which is undoubtedly the Gordian knot of the crisis.

Under these conditions, it will be hard to achieve the people's objectives, according to political analysts and media.

The poll showed that at least 66 percent of those surveyed noted that the opposition only speaks about ousting Maduro, but it has not presented a plan to solve the economic problems.

It is alarming, because the streets are inflamed and many are calling for good sense, to find points of coincidence, and are warning that dialogue is an alternative to war.

In the meantime, the questions about the process of dialogue are expected to be responded on November 11: whether the opposition withdraws or the interests in solving a crisis that no one wants but whose solution remains elusive prevail.

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Maduro Shakes Up Government while New Parliament Holds 1st Session

CARACAS - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro appointed on Wednesday a new executive vice president and made several changes in the economic sphere while the opposition majority in the new parliament swore in the three lawmakers whose inauguration had been suspended by the country's Supreme Court of Justice.

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Maduro Admits Errors and Corruption Led to Electoral Defeat

CARACAS - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Wednesday blamed errors by his government, the bureaucracy, and a "corruption that enveloped revolutionary policies" for Sunday's electoral defeat for his party, but maintained the main enemy is the "fascist right."

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