Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the United States is backing street protests to attempt a coup d’état against the government of the South American country.
In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian on Tuesday, Maduro said despite denying its involvement in subversive activities, the US administration is seeking to seize “Venezuelan oil” through a Ukraine-style “slow-motion coup.”
He noted that the opposition groups in Venezuela “have the aim of paralyzing the main cities of the country, copying badly what happened in Kiev, where the main roads in the cities were blocked off, until they made governability impossible, which led to the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine.”
The Venezuelan president also blamed the opposition for promoting violence and harming the development of the country to justify a foreign intervention.
Moreover, Maduro stated that his country is currently facing a type of “unconventional war that the US has perfected over the last decades,” citing a string of US-backed coups or attempted coups in the region from Brazil in 1960s to Honduras in 2009 as evidence.
“Is 100 years of intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean not enough: against Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, Grenada, Brazil? … I have told [US] President [Barack] Obama: we are not your backyard anymore,” he added.
Venezuela has been the scene of violent pro- and anti-government protests since mid-February, which have left at least 39 people dead and hundreds more injured.
The opposition blames the Maduro administration for rampant crime, soaring inflation and shortage of essential goods.
Venezuela ranks as one of the most violence-stricken countries in the world, with an average of 71 murders every day. The country’s inflation also soared last year to 56.2 percent, which was almost three times higher than the 20.1 percent registered in 2012.