[Ed. note – As I reported in a recent post, US regime change efforts seem to be fully under way in Venezuela. The US-backed opposition has announced a “triple-barreled strategy” to oust the country’s democratically elected president, Nicolas Maduro, from power within the first half of 2016. ]
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has fiercely criticized Washington for its hypocrisy, double standards and interventionism.
“Unlike the U.S. we have never killed innocent children nor bombed hospitals, President Maduro told tens of thousands of Venezuelans during a mass rally in Caracas this Saturday.
People took to the streets in massive numbers to show their solidarity in Caracas and other major cities across the country to show solidarity with Maduro and to reject U.S. President Barack Obama’s extension of a decree that defines the Latin American nation as an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
Governors and mayors from the socialist PSUV party are heading the demonstration in the capital Caracas, which includes a march down the city’s main avenue Libertador. The demonstration will conclude with a rally in the emblematic Plaza O’Leary.
Caracas Mayor Jorge Rodriguez said the people will demand Obama to “stay away from Venezuela’s affairs.”
Venezuela has withdrawn its charge d’affaires, Maximilian Arvelaez, from the United States as a response to the executive order, which was first issued by Obama in March 2015 and provoked a storm of controversy within Venezuela and a backlash throughout Latin America.
President Nicolas Maduro said the renewal “is a stain for Obama because he had plenty of opportunities to rectify the situation but imposed arrogance.”
“Enough arrogance, double standards, condescension and intrigue,” Maduro added during a national address on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the opposition also protested this Saturday in the streets of Caracas to demand Maduro’s resignation.
Venezuela and the U.S. have had strained relations since Hugo Chavez became president in 1999, with Washington supporting the right-wing opposition that has tried multiple times to overthrow the socialist government and destabilize the country. Both countries have been without ambassadors in each other’s capitals since 2010.
Venezuela First Lady Says U.S. Kidnapped Members of her Family
Venezuela’s first lady has accused the United States Drug Enforcement Administration of kidnapping two of her nephews in an effort to force the South American country’s socialist government out of power, as reported by Yahoo News.
First lady Cilia Flores, who also serves in congress, told Venezuelan weekly Tal Cual that she has proof the DEA illegally kidnapped her nephews and “violated our sovereignty.”
Franqui Flores de Freitas, 30, and Efrain Campo Flores, 29, were arrested in November in Haiti and are now being held in New York on charges of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the U.S., according to The Guardian.
Per Yahoo News:
U.S prosecutors have investigated several top Venezuelan officials for drug charges, but November’s arrests marked the first time President Nicolas Maduro’s inner circle was directly implicated.
Flores says the drug charges are smear attempts by Washington, intended to make high-ranking Venezuelan officials appear “complacent with the drug trade,” according to The Guardian.