Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Venezuelan President Verbally Attacks U.S. after Row with Spain


CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has verbally attacked the United States and considered breaking ties with Washington just days after triggering a diplomatic row with Spain over insults at former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.

In an interview published on Sunday, Maduro called the U.S. an “empire and imperialist.”

According to Maduro, it was U.S. foreign policy to end the so-called “Bolivarian revolution,” started by his predecessor Hugo Chavez to which several other leftist-governed Latin American governments have joined.

Maduro also said that many times he had contemplated ending all diplomatic relations with the United States, including shutting down the Venezuelan embassy and consulates there, and closing down the U.S. embassy in Caracas.

Maduro added that on Monday there would be a march to protest U.S. policies, especially those which were recently adopted by the U.S. Congress targeting senior Venezuelan government officials.

His comments came after Spain expressed its discontent over statements he had made about the country’s ex-prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.

Maduro held Aznar responsible for the deaths of more than 1 million people during the Iraq War due to his support for the U.S. invasion of that country in 2003.

“One million, two hundred thousand people died in Iraq because of Aznar, Spanish murderer,” he said Friday, added that the current fall in oil prices was part of a U.S. plan to weaken the economies of oil-producing countries like Venezuela.

The Spanish government denied the accusations and described them as lies and slanders against Aznar, and complained of the frequent diatribes by Venezuela against Spain.

Maduro also claimed that he escaped an assassination attempt last week while he was on a visit to Ecuador by the same people who he said had tried to kill Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to stir up unrest.

Lopez is facing trial for alleged incitement in violent political protests that began last February and in which 43 people died and hundreds were injured.


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