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Venezuela's top diplomat says CIA behind attempts to overthrow Maduro's government

The Venezuelan top diplomat pointed out that the country’s authorities had demanded Michael Pompeo enter dialogue with them
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza  Vladimir Gerdo/TASS
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza
© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

MOSCOW, May 6. /TASS/. There is a plan made by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) behind attempts to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the country’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said at a press conference in Moscow on Monday.

"There is a whole plan made up by the CIA and the Venezuelan opposition to overthrow the Maduro government and take control of our country’s natural resources, which belong to the people as a result of a socialist revolution," Arreaza said. "This is what we are trying to prevent. We don’t want the Venezuelan people to suffer," he added.

The Venezuelan top diplomat pointed out that the country’s authorities had demanded US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo enter dialogue with them. "Don’t use force, don’t stage coups for we have democratic institutions and the time has come for diplomacy. The US presidential administration should allow the Venezuelan opposition to come to the negotiating table with us," Arreaza said.

Situation in Venezuela

On January 23, Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas.

Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. On February 4, most of the European Union member states recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference. The United Nations secretary general, in turn, called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.

On April 30, Guaido posted a video on Twitter, calling on the Venezuelan military to take to the streets to end the "usurpation." Following Guaido’s move, a group of army officers sided with the opposition and large-scale anti-government protests resumed in the country. Clashes between protesters and police killed four and left hundreds injured. According to non-governmental organizations, at least 240 protesters were arrested on April 30 and May 1.