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8 Feb, 2019 16:21

‘You’re deaf’: Maduro says EU is not listening to Venezuela

‘You’re deaf’: Maduro says EU is not listening to Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has rejected the “partisan and ideological nature” of the EU-backed International Contact Group on Venezuela, which recently vowed to ensure a “credible” new election in his country.

Venezuela supports the dialogue process proposed by Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and the Community of Caribbean Countries (CARICOM), Maduro said at a press conference in the Miraflores Palace in Caracas. He added that the government was ready to talk to “whomever and whenever.”

“We are in the immediate position to support any action that promotes diplomacy, dialogue and meeting between Venezuelans,” said the president.

The EU must hear “Venezuela’s truth,” however, instead of listening to “right-wing extremists,” Maduro insisted.

We have always told the EU and [its foreign policy chief] Federica Mogherini: You are not listening to the truth of Venezuela, you are deaf. And the EU is doomed, Mogherini will fail if she listens to and follows what Venezuelan right-wing extremists say.

The EU-backed contact group is planning to send a technical mission to Venezuela in the coming weeks to talk to “relevant actors” there, and assist in “establishing the necessary guarantees for a credible electoral process within the earliest timeframe possible.”

Multiple EU countries have supported Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself to be the “interim leader” of the country. They are now effectively treating Maduro as a usurper.

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Maduro has described international support for Guaido as a coup being staged by the US and its allies. Other nations – including Russia and Turkey – have voiced support for Maduro, while China has called for peace, warning against foreign interference.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently slammed the EU for handing Venezuela ultimatums instead of trying to mediate the crisis.

While he disagrees with the EU-backed contact group’s statement, Maduro says he is “willing to receive any envoy and establish conversations,” hoping to “help them listen to Venezuela.”

When asked about the possibility of holding presidential elections, he said that the opposition “does not want elections,” and recalled that when a vote was held in 2017 in response to their demands, they did not show up.

The only early elections Maduro would accept are those in the National Assembly, the parliament lead by Juan Guaido.

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Maduro has also rejected humanitarian aid being amassed by the US, which has already been welcomed by Guaido, calling it a political “cheap show.” Speaking earlier to RT Spanish, Maduro called the aid a form of intervention, and said he would not accept it.

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