The portrayal of the anti-government protests in Venezuela by some media and foreign powers as a all-out civil war not only distorts reality but also hinders attempts to reconcile with the opposition, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez told RT Spanish.
At the emergency meeting of Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), called by Venezuela and held in San Salvador on May 2, representatives of 26 countries looked into the unravelling economic and political crisis in Venezuela. While no statement was issued in its aftermath, as seven countries of the 33-member bloc were not in attendance, Rodriguez described it as a “historic meeting” at which “the truth of Venezuela reached the background of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
In an interview to RT Spanish before the meeting, the minister argued that media and foreign governments have been intentionally blowing the situation with an ongoing standoff between the government in Caracas and opposition out of proportion.
“The situation in Venezuela is that what has happened in the past two weeks does not affect a mere one percent of the country’s territory, but it is being presented at the international level as though the country is at war,” she told RT, adding that the countries that don’t want to see peace in Venezuela are doing their utmost for it to descend into bloodshed.
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“At all governmental levels, these biased countries are sabotaging the chances of establishing a dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition,” she said, without specifying.
At the same time, despite growing international pressure, the government in Caracas will not abandon its attempts at reconciliation.
“No doubt, the only possibility [to stop violence] is through dialogue, if we indeed want to preserve peace, as President Maduro and the government want it,” she said, calling on Venezuelans not to “fall for provocations.”
Speaking on the problem of double standards, she pointed to the reluctance of the US State Department, which routinely lectures other countries on human rights, to initiate an open discussion on the state of human rights in the US and Venezuela. Rodriguez further noted that, unlike in the US, Venezuela has never bombed any other country.
Defending the Venezuelan government’s decision to withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS), which it accused of facilitating intervention, she said that the decision was aimed at to “put an end to the violence in Venezuela.” She argued that the OAS, which comprises 35 nations of the Americas, including the United States, was one of the drivers behind the idea of intervention into Venezuela pushed ahead by the media, fanning “international hysteria.”
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In contrast to the OAS, which is heavily influenced by the “imperialist agenda,” CELAC is not “a tool used by the United States to subordinate countries and people.”
“We feel good today because we are not under the burden nor are we shameful witnesses to Washington’s pressure. Blackmail and extortion to subdue our Latin American spirit,” Rodriguez said, following the meeting on May 2, as cited by CGTN.
Meanwhile, as the violent clashes continue to grip Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, further instigated by former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles calling on his supporters to take to the streets, the number of victims to the ongoing violence is rising by day.
Mayor Ramon Muchacho of the opposition-dominated Chacao municipality said Thursday as many as 164 people were injured during the clashes on Wednesday, adding that the overcrowded hospitals struggle to deal with the number of patients. At least 32 people fell victim to the ongoing political crisis that spiraled into violence early April, exacerbated by food shortages.