Venezuela has lashed out at the United States after it issued fresh threats to impose new sanctions against officials while attempting to derail the dialogue between Venezuela’s government and opposition.
Venezuela Talks to Continue, ‘Coexistence Deal Very Close’
Posting on Twitter, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Saturday that statements by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon were "revealing."
Speaking from Madrid in Spain, Shannon said on Friday that the United States is preparing new sanctions against the government of Nicolas Maduro to convince it to release Venezuela from its current state of crisis.
"There is still a lot of work to be done: from our point of view, sanctions are part of the force to convince the government that the exit from the crisis that Venezuela suffers today depends on a successful negotiation," Shannon said.
The US official went on to say that the sanctions are not intended to impact the general population, but intended for Venezuelan government officials who "have committed acts of violence against the people."
In response, Arreaza launched a blistering attack on Twitter: "The statements of Thomas Shannon in Madrid are revealing: he travels to give direct orders to the European Union to continue attacking Venezuela.
"It would be sad if the EU continues to submit to Donald Trump’s interventionist, racist and warmongering opinions.
"Mr Shannon is wasting his time. In response to more efforts made by the US government to torpedo the dialogue and generate conditions of violence, the Venezuelan people will defend their independence and peace that we have consolidated thanks to our constituent democracy."
Ongoing dialogue aimed at promoting peace and unity between the Venezuelan government and opposition spilled into its third day in the Dominican Republic on Saturday.
Head of the Venezuelan government delegation, Jorge Rodríguez, said late Friday that the talks are very close to reaching a positive conclusion.
"We are very close to a definitive agreement of coexistence and peace among the political sectors of Venezuela, and this agreement of coexistence will be the containment of those who attack… the Venezuelan homeland through economic aggression, sanctions, and other actions to which the economy and the financial system have been subjected."