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President Maduro condemns fresh US sanctions against Caracas

3 February 2015 19:24

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has lashed out at the United States for expanding sanctions against the South American country.

“We can’t let an empire that has been eyeing all of us pretend or think it has the right to sanction the country of [former Venezuelan political and military leader Simon] Bolivar,” Maduro said in a speech to thousands of supporters in the capital city of Caracas on Monday.

The US State Department on Monday imposed visa restrictions on unnamed Venezuelan officials it accuses of human rights violations and corruption.

Maduro described the new restrictions as an attempt to violate Venezuela’s sovereignty.

He said he would personally write a letter to US President Barack Obama in this respect.

The new visa restrictions come less than two months after Washington revoked visas and froze assets of Venezuelan officials deemed responsible by the US for violence and human rights violations following anti-government protests early last year, during which 43 people died.

Earlier on Sunday, Maduro accused the US of plotting a conspiracy to overthrow the Caracas government.

According to Maduro, Caribbean leaders told him last week in Costa Rica that they had recently participated in an energy meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, where the US veep spoke of alleged plans for a coup against the Venezuelan government.

Caracas has repeatedly stated that the opposition seeks to launch a coup d’état in the South American country with the backing of Washington.

Maduro said last December that he had “recordings” which reveal the US was seeking to corrupt Venezuelan government officials.

Caracas and Washington remain at odds since late Hugo Chavez became president in 1999. Both sides have refused to exchange ambassadors since 2010. The countries have chargé d’affaires running their respective embassies.

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