By Bayram Altug
GENEVA (AA) – The President Donald Trump’s administration "practices war acts and modern piracy against Venezuela", a Venezuelan diplomat said on Thursday.
Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Jorge Valero, permanent representative of Venezuela to the United Nations Office, accused Trump and his administration of staging a "failed coup attempt" and held them responsible for the current economic situation of Venezuela.
"The Donald Trump administration practices war acts and modern piracy against Venezuela. It applies unilateral coercive measures that cause death, pain, and suffering to the Venezuelan people. The U.S. blockade is criminal and illegal," Valero said.
He said the “failed coup attempt” last month was led by “Trump’s puppets” Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez and it was designed, orchestrated by Trump’s administration.
"Donald Trump’s government aims to affect even more the oil industry by imposing a shipping blockade," he said.
– Government, opposition talks
Responding to a question, Valero admitted that there are some talks going on between the government and opposition.
"There is an opposition we call democratic opposition, unfortunately there is also an opposition that has warmongers, terrorists and fascists […]," he said, stressing that the government is holding talks with the “democratic opposition”.
The Venezuelan government is “a dialogue-loving government” and the political negotiation is an essential component of the government, he went on to say.
"Democracy is not a war, democracy means consultation, dialogue, peace and vote […] We want differences to be resolved peacefully within the constitutional framework," the diplomat added.
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since January, when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions escalated when Guaido declared himself acting president days later, a move supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Russia, Turkey, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have thrown their weight behind Maduro.
*Writing by Burak Bir