EspañolVenezuelan President Nicolás Maduro reacted on Monday to US-imposed sanctions on Venezuelan officials accused of human-rights violations, saying he would ask the National Assembly for decree powers to “fight imperialism.”
Maduro claimed that the so-called Enabling Law aims to “preserve our institutions against any aggression that Washington is planning to make.”
“President Barack Obama, in the name of the US imperialist elite, has decided to personally take on the task of defeating my government, intervening in Venezuela, and controlling it from the United States,” Maduro said. “Obama today took the most aggressive, unjust, and poisonous step that the United States has ever taken against Venezuela.”
Maduro went on to praise the seven officials sanctioned by the US government and called the Venezuelan people to “honor and congratulate them.”
“They are seven worthy, honest, honorable Venezuelans who were aberrantly, illegally, and unfairly given this imperial honor,” he said.
Maduro also announced changes in his cabinet. He promoted Gustavo González López, director of the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN) and one of the targeted individuals, to the position of Interior minister.
José Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States, said that the US declaration of Venezuela as a national security threat puts the country in a “troubled category” that could “create difficulties in the future” and should concern everyone aspiring to “maintain the peace and dialogue” in the hemisphere.
Despite political tension between the two countries, crude oil sales from Venezuela to the United States experienced a rise of 8 percent in February, amounting to 796,000 barrels per day, according to Reuters.
Venezuela’s National Assembly previously granted Maduro special powers for one year in November 2013, when he requested them to carry out a “shock offensive” against price speculators and corruption.
Source: Associated Press.