NEW DELHI: Augusto Montiel, Venezuela’s ambassador to India, launched a blistering attack on the US on Tuesday, accusing it of trying to subvert and subdue a sovereign, democratic country in order to gain access to its oil and mineral reserves.
“Venezuela is under attack. It is an all-out war declared on us by the United States,” Montiel said and affirmed that his country would not succumb to such blatant coercion by a superpower.
Venezuela, an oil rich Latin American country, is undergoing one of the worst economic crises in its history following a drop in oil prices, aggravated by sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union that are opposed to Maduro’s Socialist regime.
“First they cripple our economy, and then they blame us for the hardships caused by their sanctions,” the ambassador said.
In order to circumvent the sanctions, Venezuela, India’s fourth largest oil supplier, has reportedly offered to sell oil to the country at 30 per cent discount provided the payment was made in crypto-currency. New Delhi, which is skeptical about the digital currency, is yet to respond to the offer.
In his impassioned speech, Ambassador Montiel invoked the fake news about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Libya promoted by the Allied powers before they were attacked, and said a similar thing was happening in Venezuela.
“First they cripple our economy, and then they blame us for the hardships caused by their sanctions,” he said.
When it comes to news critical about US President Trump, he quick to denounce it as ‘fake news’, but when it comes to Venezuela, he is quick to act on news that has no reliable basis in facts, he said. Making a distinction between journalists and media houses, he said several media houses had starting toeing the Western line about president Maduro being a dictator and a danger to democracy.
“However, we are true democracy, and we will all respect the verdict when Venezuela goes to the polls on May 20,” he said.