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27 Feb, 2019 15:04

Venezuela FM denounces ‘theft of assets’ by US, calls for meeting between Trump and Maduro

Venezuela FM denounces ‘theft of assets’ by US, calls for meeting between Trump and Maduro

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has denounced US sanctions and “theft of assets” from his country and accused the Trump administration of trying to foment a coup in violation of international law.

Speaking at the United Nations, Arreaza said that $30 billion had been “confiscated” from Venezuela since November 2017 due to Washington’s tightening economic measures against the country.

Arreaza suggested a meeting between Trump and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to “try to find common ground” and reach a diplomatic solution as tensions between the two countries continue to rise.

Also on rt.com US-backed Venezuela ‘president’ Guaido could face 30 years in prison – judge

The US has openly called for regime change in the Latin American country and recognized right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “interim president” in January while declaring Maduro’s presidency “illegitimate.” In that context, any meeting between the two men, as suggested by Arreaza, would be unlikely.

Washington has offered $20 million in humanitarian aid to Venezuela, but the Maduro government has rejected it on the grounds that it could be a Trojan horse to smuggle weapons into the country — a tactic the US has used in the region in the past.

Arreaza said on Tuesday that trucks supposedly carrying humanitarian supplies were also loaded with nails and wire. Guaido tried to assist the entry of the trucks across the Colombian border into Venezuela, which Arreaza said was a "well-orchestrated operation to violate the territory" of the country.

Trump has repeatedly refused to rule out a military option for Venezuela, while Caracas has called for "dialog and negotiations" to solve the crisis.

Also on rt.com Red Cross denounces unsanctioned use of its emblems to smuggle US aid to Venezuela

Speculation has mounted that the US may use its ally Colombia as a backdoor to invade Venezuela, prompting Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia to call on all neighboring states to reject the use of force, “regardless of political affiliations.”

Nebenzia said that US sanctions on Venezuela were designed to bring the country to a “state of destitution” as a pretext to trigger a “humanitarian intervention” and regime change to install a government friendlier to the US.

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