US waging an oil war against Venezuela, says its Ambassador to India
“We have the right to defend ourselves and our Constitution and save millions of people from the daily misery the US is subjecting them to.”
Venezuelan Ambassador to India, Mr Augusto Montiel has attacked the United States for waging an oil war against Venezuela aimed at crumbling and crippling the oil dependent Venezuelan economy. The envoy said that the U.S imposed sanctions have affected Venezuelan oil production dramatically also affecting oil supply to India.
“A good number of these sanctions are aimed at hurting the Venezuelan oil industry. Oil production in Venezuela has been naturally affected by the sanctions and sabotage and India has also been at the receiving end due to decrease in capacity of oil production. From 500,000 barrels of oil a day that India imported pre sanctions, the Venezuelan supply has been reduced to around 400,000 barrels a day. Even in this time, India’s energy security is being protected and Venezuela is making all efforts to keep up with the production of oil. These sanctions have been surgically designed to affect our economy,” said Ambassador Montiel who has been in India for three and a half years.
Without mincing any words, Ambassador Montiel said, “This is an oil war just as there was in Iraq and Libya. They want control of oil as Venezuela has the largest reserves of oil in the world. The US reserves will only last five years. The point of the crisis in Venezuela is oil, gold and the Geo strategic region of Latin America. The US is paying gangsters to disrupt our economy and now they are trying to steal Venezuelan company CITGO which owns refineries and 6000 petrol stations in U.S worth 20,000 million USD. They have described it as seizing the assets, also undervalued the assets but they have no authority to take it from Venezuela. Their real motive is to gift all our assets to north American companies.”
Addressing mediapersons at the Press Club of India here, the envoy said that a violent coup d’etat has been defeated. “Obviously, a coup right now is in progress. More than 10 million people marched on the streets to express their support for President Maduro and to show that they respect the Constitution. That’s what stopped the coup d’etat that they were planning for the weekend to bring down an elected government in Venezuela and bring in a puppet of the U.S. government. We are trying to follow President Maduro’s line of peace. According to a survey, 89 per cent of people do not want violence. In Venezuela, we believe in the diplomacy of peace, in common sense and in the civilised nature of our Constitution. We have 100 per cent literacy in Venezuela and have freedom of expression and freedom of the Press.”
Asked about the economic recovery, growth and prosperity programme launched by President Maduro in October 2018, Ambassador Montiel said that a major dimension of it was Petro crypto currency to bypass the north American sanctions against Venezuela. “The US created more sanctions so that people internationally could not use the Petro crypto currency for trade. The US with the sanctions crippled that possibility.”
The Ambassodor defended the legitimacy of President Nicolas Maduro who is being challenged by Opposition lawmaker,Juan Guidao. Calling Guidao who declared himself as interim President on January 23, as “a puppet of US, Ambassador Montiel said that nine and a half million people went out and voted for President Maduro and five other Opposition candidates in the 2018 Presidential elections. “President Maduro got 67 per cent votes. Who are they (US) to say who is the President of Venezuela? Venezuela has no dictator. The dictator is in Washington.”
He said that the United States is trying to do to Venezuela what it did to Libya and Iraq with a military intervention on “artificial” grounds. “The US has never accepted election results in Venezuela except when the winning candidate has been backed by it. It attempted a coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002 but failed. Same story is being repeated again. This is unacceptable to us. The fact is that the Venezuelan people are defending themselves against the economic, military, political and criminal actions instigated by the US government as this amounts to direct intervention in our internal affairs of our country. The Vice President of the US, Mike Pence, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and the National Security Advisor, John Bolton have visited latin America six times in recent months and used these visits to arm twist countries of latin America. We have the right to defend ourselves and our Constitution and save millions of people from the daily misery the US is subjecting them to.”
He repeatedly blamed Western international news agencies for not discharging their duties properly and acting as news manipulators instead of news distributors in reporting the situation in Venezuela and hiding the real facts from the world. “Actually, they are serving the interests of the US.’’
The envoy said that the February 7 conference international conference on the situation in Venezuela called by the government of Mexico, Uruguay and the Pope will hopefully help the world see a reason to prevent war mongering by US and foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela.