US trying to bring war to S America | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 27, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:50 AM, February 27, 2019


US trying to bring war to S America

Says Maduro as Guaido, Pence agree to tighten noose around regime

  • US announces more sanctions against Venezuela, $56m in aid for its neighbours 
  • Lima Group urges ICC to declare aid blockade 'crime against humanity'


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the American government of manufacturing a crisis in an attempt to start a war in South America, in an interview broadcast on Monday.

"Everything that the United States government has done has been doomed to failure," Maduro told American broadcaster ABC News from the presidential palace in Caracas in remarks translated by the network from Spanish.

"They are trying to fabricate a crisis to justify political escalation and a military intervention in Venezuela to bring a war to South America."

Earlier in the day, US Vice President Mike Pence and Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido agreed on a strategy to tighten the noose around President Nicolas Maduro following a meeting with regional allies in Colombia.

Pence announced more sanctions against Venezuela and $56 million in aid for neighboring countries grappling with a flood of people fleeing the economically stricken country.

US Vice President Mike Pence announced $56 million in aid to Venezuelans as well as tougher US sanctions as he joined a Lima Group meeting of Latin American countries plus Canada that was also attended by opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The group also urged the International Criminal Court to declare Maduro's refusal to allow in humanitarian aid a "crime against humanity."

The United States is among some 50 countries that recognize Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

Maduro blasted the talks in Bogota as being "politics to attempt to establish a parallel government in Venezuela."

Washington, he said, "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," Maduro said, describing Venezuela as a "pacifist, humble nation."

But he also said he was ready to participate in a "direct dialogue" with the Trump administration.

Asked if he would allow Guaido back into the country, Maduro said: "He has to respect the laws."

Guaido "can leave and come back and will have to see the face of justice because justice had prohibited him from him leaving the country."

A team of six journalists from the US-based TV network Univision said it was detained for nearly three hours in Caracas Monday after Maduro was offended by questions about poverty and the legtimacy of his rule which they had asked him during an interview.

Venezuelan authorities seized the team's equipment, too, said anchorman Jorge Ramos of the big Spanish-language network.

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