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Venezuela urges US to stop "imperialistic aggression" — foreign ministry

Venezuela's foreign ministry said Caracas "categorically rejects the use of unilateral measures announced by the US government against Venezuela's military"

CARACAS, March 2. /TASS/. The Venezuelan leadership condemns US sanctions imposed on military officials of the Bolivarian Republic and confirms that they are directed against those loyal to the legitimate authorities, the country's foreign ministry said.

"Venezuela categorically rejects the use of unilateral measures announced by the US government against Venezuela's military in the framework of Washington's failed strategy to facilitate the overthrow of the constitutional government and constitutional President Nicolas Maduro," the foreign ministry said. "The US administration thus confirms its aim to harm patriots in the military who act in support of Venezuela's constitution, sovereignty and territorial integrity," the ministry added.

The foreign ministry called on the international community "to ensure compliance with the United Nations Charter with its fundamental principles and goals in order to stop an imperialistic aggression against Venezuela's sovereign people."

On January 23 Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has described it as a coup attempt and announced severing diplomatic relations with the United States. On January 28 the US imposed sancitons on Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA oil company.

Guaido was recognized as interim president by the Lima Group countries (except for Mexico), as well as by Albania, Georgia, the United States, and the Organization of American States. Several EU countries came forward with support for the Venezuelan parliament and expressed hope for new elections to resolve the crisis. Maduro was supported by Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey. Belarus and China called for resolving all issues by peaceful means and spoke against any interference from the outside. The UN secretary general called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.