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    Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza at Casa Amarilla, home to the foreign ministry in Caracas. Jan. 12, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 18 January 2019

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza talked about democracy and international efforts to oust Maduro.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza denounced an international plot led by the United States to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro and install a government that suits their interests in the region.

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In an interview with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!, Arreaza talked about a coup attempt being set up by the U.S. and allies, the negative effects of the sanctions imposed on Venezuela, the opposition and the geopolitical situation in Latin America.

“Who is Juan Guaido? Nobody knows him—but he’s being pushed to say that he is the new president, by the U.S. He hasn’t said that, but Pompeo says it, Almagro from the OAS says it, and other presidents say that now he’s the president... They are calling the armed forces to make pronunciations against President Maduro. That’s what they want, a coup d’état in Venezuela. They want a war in Venezuela. And it’s not going to happen,” said Arreaza.

Before Maduro was sworn in for his second term on Jan. 10, Juan Guaido was declared head of the National Assembly, in contempt of court since 2016, which agreed to declare Maduro an “usurper.” Even though Guaido didn’t declare himself the president of Venezuela by dismissing the elections as illegitimate, the government of Brazil led by far-right Jair Bolsonaro recognized him as such.

Arreaza argues that the Venezuelan opposition doesn’t do anything without permission from the U.S. State Department. He explained how part of the opposition called to boycott the 2018 elections and called them a fraud even before they took place, pressuring candidates to not participate in them.

“And now they say that because the elections were a fraud, then there’s no president of Venezuela, so the president of the National Assembly has to be the new president. And all these governments and the U.S. government are encouraging this thesis,” he said.

The U.S. national security adviser John Bolton announced that his government didn’t recognize the “Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro’s illegitimate claim to power.”

The Lima Group, founded by right-wing Latin American countries with the support of the U.S. to pressure Venezuela, issued a statement not recognizing Maduro’s new term. Mexico, part of the group, refrained from signing it, as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is returning to the historical foreign policy of non-intervention.

The foreign minister continued explaining the democratic processes in Venezuela, how society is organized in community councils and communes where people takes decisions, how education, health and housing were democratized instead of privatized.

“So, we are really trying to build a root democracy, rooted in the people. And that is what they don’t like, because that is not what they would like from the countries of Latin America,” he said.

But as it has happened in Cuba and Chile, to name a couple, the United States keeps pressuring governments that don’t play by their rules. “He wanted to make the Chilean economy under Allende scream,” said Goodman about Henry Kissinger, who is still in the game of U.S. foreign politics.

The United States is currently considering to impose a new set of sanctions against the Venezuelan government, potentially putting at risk the health and wellbeing of millions of Venezuelans.


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