Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has rightly blamed leaders of the US Empire for conspiring to get their hands on Venezuelan oil just like they did in Iraq and in Libya. Donald Trump and a group of extremists around him are actually plotting to topple Maduro in order to seize Venezuela’s oil. Maduro warned Trump risks transforming the South American country into a new Vietnam. Incapable of accusing Venezuela’s government of stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, the US is instead waging a media campaign of fake news to defend intervening in a country that boasts the world’s biggest crude reserves. Maduro says we will not allow a Vietnam in Latin America. If the US intends to intervene against us they will get a Vietnam worse than they can imagine. We do not allow violence. We are a peaceful people, Venezuela’s president says. He stresses that Venezuela be respected and seeks the support of the people of the US so as to avoid a new Vietnam, least of all in the American region. Maduro says the United States is so much bigger than Donald Trump, so much bigger and painting himself as admirer of the US who has visited Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York and Washington is desirous of closer relations with the White House. But Maduro appears unlikely to mend relations with the Trump administration, unless it stops throwing its full weight behind his rival to the presidency, Juan Guaidó. Contrary to the wishes of Maduro, Trump of late in a telephone call repeated his support for Guaidó, and the two men decided to stay in consistent interaction. Trump has stepped up its fight against Maduro by announcing sweeping sanctions against the country’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA. Maduro recently said he was willing to negotiate with Guaidó, sit down for talks with the opposition so that they could talk for the sake of Venezuela’s peace and its future. Maduro also said the talks could be held with the mediation of other countries, naming Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, the Vatican and Russia. The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Russia could offer more balanced conditions for dialogue than the west. Lavrov called on Guaidó to agree to talks without preconditions. “We welcome the Venezuelan president’s willingness to accept such international mediation efforts,” he said at a press conference in Moscow. “We call on the opposition to display an equally constructive approach, retract the ultimatums, and act independently, guided above all by the Venezuelan people’s interests.” Moscow has so far offered full-throated support for the Venezuelan leader. Russia has invested an estimated $17bn (£13bn) in Venezuela by refinancing the country’s debt, as well as through oil and arms deals. Moscow has repeated its offer to mediate. The biggest hurdle is Washington.
Maduro warned Trump risks transforming the South American country into a new Vietnam.