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22 Jan, 2019 22:56

Maduro orders ‘total revision’ of Venezuela-US diplomatic ties after Pence calls for regime change

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered a revision of diplomatic relations with the US after the White House has openly urged the opposition to unite and overthrow the “dictator with no legitimate claim to power.”

Ahead of the mass street protests against Maduro on Wednesday, called by the opposition-led National Assembly, US Vice President Mike Pence released a video message reaffirming unwavering support for a regime change in Venezuela. Denouncing Maduro as “a dictator with no legitimate claim to power” who has “never won the presidency in a free and fair election,” Pence declared that time has come for the Venezuelan people to take the matters into their own hands, in a speech peppered with Spanish phrases.

“The United States supports the courageous decision by Juan Guaidó, the president of National Assembly, to assert that body’s constitutional powers, declare Maduro a usurper and call for the establishment of a transitional government,” Pence said.

Slamming the speech as shameless US meddling in his country’s internal affairs, Maduro in response promised his supporters to announce specific measures against Washington in the coming hours.

“Enough of aggressions and conspiracies, enough is enough!” said Maduro, rejecting the “imperialist interventionism” and open calls for coup d'état that he called unprecedented in the 200-year history of US-Venezuela relations.

"Mr. Pence doesn't have a job. Now he wants to come and run Venezuela, handing out instructions on what should happen" at the anti-government protests on Wednesday, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez noted, accusing the White House of openly "promoting instability and violence" in the Latin American country.

Also on rt.com Armed Venezuelan soldiers detained in Caracas for trying to stage ‘uprising’ against Maduro

“Nobody in Latin America believes seriously that the US government is interested in democracy and freedom...because they have supported all the dictatorships that we had suffered in Latin America for decades,” Atilio Borón, professor of political science in the University of Buenos Aires, told RT.

They are creating a humanitarian crisis and then they want to appear as the ones who can solve all the problems.

“This is a desperate move, because they cannot defeat Maduro at the ballot box and they are promoting a sort of public insurrection which may backfire,” Boron added. “If they want to help, the first thing they should do is stop blocking the foreign relations with Venezuela and other countries which are ready to sell their goods to Venezuela.”

Also on rt.com ‘Time for new govt': US openly throws weight behind Venezuelan opposition seeking to depose Maduro

“It is so ironic that the US political establishment has been crying wolf over Russia and president Trump being in cahoots with the Russians, but when it comes to foreign policy, when it comes to US imperialism and intervention – especially Latin America – there is consensus amongst the corporate elite in our political establishment, under the guise of spreading democracy and freedom,” noted Andrew King, PhD candidate in public policy at the University of Massachusetts.

Recognizing Guaidó as a legitimate president and saying that the democratically elected president Maduro has the illegitimate power, that would be akin to a foreign nation saying that [the US] president is illegitimate and they will recognize the Senate or the House leader as the president.

Maduro was inaugurated for a second six-year term earlier this month, prompting Guaidó to declare his presidency illegitimate. While calling on the country to mobilize, and urging the military to defect, the opposition leader has also been seeking international support to topple Maduro.

Also on rt.com Venezuelan opposition seeks to depose Maduro in US-backed ‘democratic’ coup

Venezuela has already descended into violence ahead of the mass opposition-led protest due to take place on Wednesday, marking the 61st anniversary of the military uprising that toppled the dictatorship of General Marcos Pérez Jiménez.

On Tuesday, police used tear gas to disperse crowds of protesters who staged rallies throughout Caracas in response to the Supreme Court decision that declared all acts of the National Assembly null and void. Confrontations with authorities were also fueled by the detention of a group of the National Guard soldiers on Monday, who stole weapons and called for an uprising against the 56-year-old president.

Also on rt.com Maduro calls Bolsonaro ‘modern-day Hitler’ after Brazil lends support to opposition leader

Maduro and his government believe that the crisis and discontent in Venezuela have been deliberately fueled by foreign powers. The president has repeatedly accused the US of collaborating with Venezuelan neighbors and the opposition to oust him from power. US economic pressure and the decline of oil prices in recent years have contributed to the severe social and economic crisis in Venezuela. Hit by hyperinflation and a shortage of basic necessities, millions of people have been forced to leave the country in search of a better life elsewhere in Latin America.

Also on rt.com ‘Bolton is preparing plan for my assassination, with help from Bogota’ – Venezuela’s Maduro

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