‘US not just behind Venezuelan coup, it’s leading it’ – Foreign Minister to RT

Venezuela is well aware the US is actually leading an effort to topple President Maduro, but is ready to sit down with the Western-backed opposition and could be doing so “in half an hour,” the country’s Foreign Minister told RT.

Hitting back at the Western pressure, Venezuelan government will now focus its efforts on “the main leader of the coup, the 'director of the circus,' namely, the US government, Mr Trump and his representatives.”

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza gave an inteview to RT Spanish on Sunday. Without further ado, he accused Washington of spearheading what he said an effort to overthrow democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro.

The US government is not just behind the coup but is leading it. We are focused on neutralizing Washington's attacks.

Adding to a US-led pressure for President Maduro to step aside, Spain, France, Germany and the UK on Saturday issued the elected leader an ultimatum, calling on Maduro to call for new elections within eight days.

 
‘No to new elections ultimatum’: Venezuela’s Maduro slams Trump, EU for arrogance and disrespect

“First of all, it is interventionism to the highest degree. Secondly, it is arrogant, and, thirdly, it is artificial,” Arreaza commented. The Venezuelan government will scrutinize ties with countries who backed the opposition but will not put too much emphasis on it.

“The Bolivarian democracy only requires recognition and support from Venezuelan people,” he stated, adding, “other governments are of little interest to us.”

Nevertheless, Caracas will keep the door open to any talks with pro-Western opposition led by Juan Guaido. The opposition leader declared himself interim president last week, garnering support or recognition from the US and an array of other nations. Russia and Turkey were among those to denounce Guaidos’s move and said they would further recognize the elected leader Maduro.

“Everyone should know that we are in constant contact with the Venezuelan opposition,” said Venezuela’s top diplomat. Last December, the government was close to reaching a deal with them but they walked out of the talks after consulting with the State Department. At any rate, Caracas stays ready to engage its opponents.

If the opposition is ready to sit down with us at the negotiating table we will agree literally in half an hour.

Seizing the opportunity, the Foreign Minister urged Guaido followers “to come to the negotiations, ask permission from their superiors in the US, and look for a solution with us [to] jointly build a political road for the future.” It is impossible to push for change in Venezuela by actually attacking it or siding with its enemies, Arreaza stated.

Caracas is currently engaged with the governments of Mexico and Uruguay on “daily” basis after both states offered their mediation services. The government also remains in constant talks with the American-led domestic opposition, which continues to avoid any meaningful dialogue unless approved by the US.

Maduro ready to go negotiate 'naked' but Guaido refuses to take part in ‘fake dialogue’...

“The people of Venezuela can freely decide whether they want to follow the road of the revolution, left-wing politics, progress, or whether they want to follow the path of neoliberalism and imperialism,” the Foreign Minister offered.

 
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Venezuela, Many Nations, Reject US-Led Interventionism at UNSC Session

United Nations Security Council met on Saturday to discuss the internal situation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

On Saturday the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council was summoned by the United States to meet Saturday to discuss the internal situation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza delivered a speech defending Venezuela against the U.S. interventionism and was backed by several countries from across the world.

RELATED: Ongoing Coup in Venezuela: What If Same Scenario Happens in France

China, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, Russia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, Saint Vicent, the Grenadines, Barbados, and Suriname, were among the countries that expressed their recognition of the legitimate and constitutional Venezuelan government, led by President Nicolas Maduro.

"The United States is the one that should be evaluated (and not Venezuela) for its permanent disrespect and interference in external political affairs," Foreign Minister Arreaza said in his statement before the Security Council. 

"How is it possible that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, who militarily threatened Venezuela, has not been questioned by the world?"

Arreaza also talked about the situation of the illegally and unconstitutionally self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido, asking, "how can it be possible for a lawmaker to proclaim himself president and for international governments to recognize him?"  Stating and warning that in Venezuela "force is being imposed on the law. That is dangerous and we must stop it here from the United Nations."

| Chancellor of , from the Security Council: "The Bolivarian Armed Forces defend the Constitution with their lives, they can never convince our military to overthrow ."

Russia, for its part, a delegation led by ambassador Vasili Nebenzia, condemned the United States policy of favoring regime changes in other countries. "The regime change is the favorite political game of the United States," Nebenzia state. According to the diplomat, "We (Russia) support the rules of international law and we oppose foreign intervention."

Jerry Matjila, permanent ambassador of South Africa at the United Nations, called for dialogue in Venezuela. "South Africa is against any attempt of unconstitutional change of the government of Venezuela," the diplomat said at the meeting.

The ambassador for Nicaragua stated that the actions led by the U.S. and backed by other countries "do not help a political and peaceful solution that only belongs to the Venezuelan people. Venezuela is the one who must exercise its rights and autonomy within its internal jurisdiction."

The Cuban representation in the Security Council stated that the Caribbean nation "reiterate(s) our absolute respect for the Bolivarian and Chavez revolution, for the union of the Venezuelan people and for their legitimate and democratic government."

Those several statements of support came as a response to incoherent and inconsistent attacks on Venezuela's President Maduro by the United States and its right-wing allies as well as several European Countries.

During his speech, the British envoy claimed that President Maduro won the May 2018 elections by "stuffing ballot boxes," an allegation that the Russian envy rebuffed by reminding his counterpart that in Venezuela such a fraudulent practice would not be possible because Venezuela has a highly-reliable electronic voting system that does not involve ballot boxes.   

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Jorge Arreaza: There Is No Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela

The Venezuelan foreign minister slammed the hypocrisy of offers of humanitarian aid to Venezuela by the same countries that imposed the harsh sanctions.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Monday that "there is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela," but rather an "economic crisis," as a consequence of the sanctions and the blockade exercised by sectors of the international political right against the South American nation.

RELATED: Venezuela Denounces US Coup Plotting After NYT Report

"It is greatly cynical of those who would blockade Venezuela to (then) offer humanitarian aid afterward," Arreaza said during the 39th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, where the situation in Venezuela was discussed, in reference to harsh sanctions against his country by the U.S. and the European Union.

The diplomat's statement corresponds to what was expressed in the report of independent expert Alfred-Maurice de Zayas during the session.

"We request on behalf of the people of Venezuela and President Nicolás Maduro the cessation of aggression against the Bolivarian Republic," said the Venezuelan foreign minister.

His comments just days after a damning New York Times report revealed that secret meetings had been taken place between the United States military and several Venezuelan military officers who were plotting to carry out a coup against President Maduro, but eventually failed to do so and failed to convince the United States to support their efforts. 

Commenting on the report, Arreaza, rejected the U.S. interference and plots against the democratically-elected government of Maduro, and said such reports confirm what Venezuela has been saying for years, that Washington and its allies have been working in secret with right-wing elements in the country to oust Maduro and his leftist government. 

"We denounce the plans for intervention and support given to military conspirators by the government of the United States against Venezuela," Jorge Arreaza wrote on Twitter on Saturday. "Even in U.S. media, the crass evidence is coming to light."

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Venezuela Slams EU Meddling After Sanctions on Gov't Officials

In a statement published Monday, Venezuela's foreign ministry condemned the EU for its 'blatant subordination' to the U.S.

Venezuela issued a statement Monday rejecting the European Union’s announcement of sanctions against 11 high-ranking officials in protest of President Nicolas Maduro’s reelection in the May elections, which were boycotted by some sectors of the Venezuelan opposition such as the Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD.

RELATED: Venezuelan Police Break International Child Trafficking Ring

“The EU undermines political peace in Venezuela by meddling in its internal affairs and endeavoring to apply coercive measures against tranquility and dialogue between Venezuelans,” the statement by Venezuela’s foreign ministry reads.

The EU sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes against people close to President Maduro.

Venezuela’s foreign ministry also criticized the EU saying “it is surprising the blatant subordination of the EU to the Trump Administration, emulating its actions of aggression against Venezuela, designed by the most extremist and warlike sectors of that government.”

According to the EU the May 20 elections in Venezuela, which were accompanied by over 100 international observers, were not free or fair. The main argument behind that assertion is that two popular opposition leaders and some political parties were unable to compete.

Leopoldo Lopez couldn’t run because he was sentenced to almost 14 years in prison for inciting to violence during the deadly 2014 protests. The other one is Henrique Capriles, who was sanctioned in 2017 by Venezuelan ombudsman Manuel Galindo over corruption charges when he was governor of the state of Merida.

Electoral restrictions did not amount to an inability to present a unified opposition candidate to reach what they have called an “electoral solution.”  

Henry Ramos Allup, former president of the suspended National Assembly, offered his Democratic Action party to present a “united Venezuela” ticket in late January. Ramos Allup’s party was able to participate because it had successfully completed the revalidation process.

Nicolas Maduro obtained 5.8 million votes in the May 20 elections, that is four million more than main opposition candidate Henri Falcon, who decided not to heed calls for an electoral boycott.

“The Bolivarian government reiterates to the EU that Venezuela will not accept threats from any world power or group of countries coalesced with imperial reminiscences,” the statement concluded.

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Venezuela's Arreaza Condemns 'US Interventionism' in UN Speech

Arreaza said Simon Bolivar was right in 1829, when he said the U.S. wanted to "spread misery in the Americas in the name of freedom.”

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza condemned the interventionist actions of the United States and its European allies in his country's internal affairs Monday during his speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

RELATED:Venezuela's Maduro Slams US-Led 'Ridiculous' Attacks, Defends Democratic Values

“For nearly two decades we've been harassed by interventionist foreign powers, eager to regain control of our oil, gas, gold, diamond, coltan, water and fertile lands,” said Arreaza before quoting Simon Bolivar when he said the United States wanted to “spread misery in Americas in the name of freedom.”

Arreaza said U.S. President Donald Trump has been threatening Venezuela all this time and imposed sanctions against the country in an attempt to topple President Nicolas Maduro and his government. “We can't allow this Human Rights Council to be hijacked by those who only want to make war,” the Venezuelan top diplomat told high level officials during the meeting in Switzerland.

Arreaza pointed to U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson's recent comments in which he openly suggested an overthrow of Venezuela's democratic government and said he wouldn't recognize the outcome of the next elections. Those are only some of the 105 international verbal attacks Venezuela has endured this year, the foreign minister added.

Maduro has called more than 400 times for the opposition to take part in a dialogue to bring peace to the country, but they have been unwilling to do so Arreaza stressed. The opposition also didn't agree to participate in the elections on April 22, a date they themselves proposed.

He further condemned the U.S. Government for making the world believe there's a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela with the intention of carrying out an intervention in the South American country, while highlighting recent comments by U.N. independent expert Alfred de Zayas.

RELATED: Venezuela Slams 'Ego-Driven' US Attacks on Peace and Stability

De Zayas said last week there was no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. "Of course there is scarcity, anxiety and shortages but whoever has worked for decades for the United Nations and knows the situation of countries in Asia, Africa and some of America, knows that the situation in Venezuela is not a humanitarian crisis.”

The expert explained that although many think that the country is on the verge of disaster, as media outlets do, "Venezuela suffers an economic war, a financial blockade, suffers a high level of smuggling and, of course, needs international solidarity to solve these problems." 

Arreaza also pointed out that “the Venezuelan people have benefited from social plans such as salary increase and the pension system announced by the president.”

He added that “disabled people have been handed scholarships, unemployment has decreased to six percent, more than six million families have benefited by the Supply and Production Local Committee, and two million homes have been delivered.”

“Venezuela ratifies its commitment with the U.N. in defense of human rights because other countries have abused them and violated them,” Arreaza claimed. “Human rights must be sacred and we can't allow them to be violated, because they're crucial in the defense of our humanity.”

Ahead of his speech at the council the foreign minister held a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

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Venezuelan Foreign Minister Condemns Unilateral Sanctions by EU

Jorge Arreaza said that the sanctions by the European Union are aimed at attacking the Bolivarian Revolution and its democratic institutions.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Monday condemned the unilateral sanctions of the European Union (EU) and called on the bloc to rectify its interventionist position.

"It is regrettable that the European Union is put to the tail's end of US imperialism, it is regrettable that the European Union has issued a series of restrictive measures against Venezuelan citizens, officials, but also presidents of public powers, that is, against Venezuela and its democratic institutionality democratic," Arreaza said during the II Forum of Cooperation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) and China.

RELATED:  Venezuela Rejects 'Interventionist' Sanctions Imposed by EU

Arreaza asserted that the EU violates international law by subordinating its foreign policy "to the imperialist, supremacist and racist US policy"

"Venezuela calls on the EU to reflect and rectify because our independence is sacred, our institutions legitimate," he said.

Arreaza stressed that the EU's arguments to impose sanctions are not to promote dialogue with the opposition, on the contrary "it is about attacking the Bolivarian Revolution, and attacking Venezuelan democratic institutions."

He recalled that the undersecretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, Thomas Shannon, had previously reported that "they instructed the EU with a package of sanctions against Venezuela."

The Venezuelan diplomat said that his country will continue in the process of dialogue with the opposition, as well as progress in all areas of society.

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