On February 26th, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the US government of fabricating a crisis to start a war in South America in an interview with ABC News.
“Everything that the United States government has done has been doomed to failure,” Maduro said “They are trying to fabricate a crisis to justify political escalation and a military intervention in Venezuela to bring a war to South America.”
Maduro also said that the meeting between US-Proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaido and US Vice President Mike Pence in Bogota on February 25th was “part of that politics to attempt to establish a parallel government in Venezuela.” He added that the U.S. “wants Venezuela’s oil” and is “willing to go to war for that oil.”
“The extremist Ku Klux Klan government that Donald Trump directs wants a war over oil, and more than just oil,” he said, describing Venezuela as a “pacifist, humble nation.”
Asked if he had a message for Trump, Maduro said he needs to “fix your policy over Venezuela.”
“Venezuela has the right to peace, Venezuela has legitimate institutions. I, as President of Venezuela, am prepared for a direct dialogue with your government and with you to look for, like the Americans that we are. We are South Americans, you are North Americans. To look for 21st century solutions not Cold War solutions. The Cold War should stay behind,” Maduro said.
“We cannot have this war of are you a communist, are you anti-communist, inter-communist, anti-communist – that is not of this century. We are Democrats that believe in a new type of socialism and we have the right to the diversity of criterion and ideology. And so President Trump should always be ready to see Venezuela’s truth – the other side of the coin and rectify and start a new path,” Maduro continued. “The path that got you here is the fractured path that Barack Obama left behind, President Trump. It’s a path of a coup d’etat, of an intervention – that is not of the 21st century – I say to you, rectify. You will always have in me someone that is prepared – with our differences between us – to extend my hand and talk about a peaceful dialogue,” he added.
Asked if he fears Trump, Maduro said he doesn’t fear him… but he does fear the men around him, including Pence (“man that does not know world politics, unaware of Latin American politics”), National Security Adviser John Bolton (“an extremist and expert of the Cold War”), Eliot Abrams (“a liar that trafficked arms and drugs in Central America and the world and brought war to the United States”), and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (“a CIA agent that has an antiquated scheme of old intelligence from the Cold War”). “I think these people surrounding President Trump are bad and advising him on Venezuelan policies are bad. And I think that at one point, President Trump will have to say stop, stop we have to see what happens with Venezuela, and change his politics,” Maduro said.
He also said that he thinks Guaido must face trial after returning to Venezuela, due to him leaving the country despite a prohibition by the country’s supreme court.
“He can leave and come back and will have to see the face of justice because justice had prohibited him from him leaving the country… He has to respect the laws,” Maduro said.
Meanwhile, Guaido said that he would begin exercising his “duties as president” as soon as he returns to Venezuela.
No asumimos este compromiso para luchar desde afuera, por eso, pronto estaré en Venezuela para ejercer mis funciones como Presidente (E).
Haré circular un audio con las próximas instrucciones. Les pido que difundan masivamente nuestro mensaje
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) February 27, 2019
“We do not assume this commitment to fight from the outside, so I will soon be in Venezuela to perform my duties as President (E). I’ll circulate an audio with the next instructions. I ask you to spread our message massively nothing will stop us.”
Later on February 26th, Maduro showed video which he claimed prove the “crimes” committed by the Venezuelan opposition on February 23rd.
The third video shows the burnt-out remains of a humanitarian aid truck, something that Maduro argued was the work of “the criminals of [Colombian President] Ivan Duque”.
3. Así el periodista Luis Henández del Diario @lajornadaonline y yo describimos lo que vimos en las gandolas de la "ayuda humanitaria" nos pareció increíble y confirma la denuncia que los "alimentos y medicinas" venían acompañados de otras cosas, insumos para las #guarimbas pic.twitter.com/cCKckE6WEb
— Madelein Garcia (@madeleintlSUR) February 25, 2019
“We saw in the “humanitarian aid” containers something that confirms the claim that the “food and medicine” were accompanied by other things,” Telesur correspondent Madelein Garcia reads said in a tweet.
This was also repeated by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who showed pictures and claimed that the humanitarian aid trucks contained provisions to construct barricades during a UNSC meeting on Venezuela.
[Jorge Arreaza starts speaking at 1 hour 44 minutes in the video]
Arreaza, said Ms. DiCarlo’s opening briefing to the Council “was biased” and disseminated information “from one source” only. He said the US had been attempting to mount “a coup” against his country.
Referring to the attempts to move US and opposition-backed aid shipments across the border with Colombia into Venezuela, Mr. Arreaza said: “That was the last chapter of the coup on Saturday, and I can tell you, read my lips, it failed.”
“Now is the time for us to return to sanity and to respect international law”, he said adding that the Government was prepared to sit down and negotiate with the opposition, led by Juan Guaidó: “Among Venezuelans, we can build our own solution without intervention, interference from anyone, much less the United States,” he said.
During that same meeting, Elliot Abrams, the U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela, called on the members of the Security Council to meet the growing needs of Venezuela and the region, to contribute to Venezuelan democracy and “pressure the illegitimate regime to peacefully step down.” He also questioned the value of dialogue with President Nicolás Maduro who, he said, would “rather block and burn donated medicine and bread than see it in the hands of Venezuelan children.”
The Permanent Representative for Russia, Vassily Nebenzia, described the attempt to get US aid into Venezuela as “an attempted illegal state border crossing for the delivery of unknown cargo,” adding that an illegitimate attempt had been made to transfer “unverified” supplies, that was not requested by Venezuela. Mr. Nebenzia said that if the US genuinely wanted to help the Venezuelan people, they would have operated through UN agencies. He added that Russian has successfully delivered 7.5 tonnes of medical goods through the World Health Organization (WHO), without any obstacles.
Also on February 26th, Jorge Ramos, a US television host and his entire crew were reportedly deported from Venezuela, after after his interview with President Nicolas Maduro “turned sour.”
“We’re leaving, expelled from Venezuela, for asking questions – simply for that,” Ramos said. “Our cameras and video memory cards have been stolen by the government. But we’re going to keep asking questions,” he added.
He also thanked the US State Department and the US Embassy in Caracas for protecting him and his crew.
I really want to thank the U.S. State Department and the American Embassy in Caracas for making sure that we were protected and safe in Venezuela. Their help was instrumental in our safe departure today from Caracas after being detained yesterday by the Maduro regime.
— JORGE RAMOS (@jorgeramosnews) February 26, 2019
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Pence, Guaidó Fail to Secure Lima Group Approval for US Military Intervention in Venezuela
- US Preparing For Military Invasion In Venezuela: Russian Security Council Secretary
- Video Shows Opposition Sets On Fire U.S. Aid Truck On Venezuelan Border. Washington Blames This On Maduro