Maduro to US: Respect Venezuelan sovereignty

Maduro to US: Respect Venezuelan sovereignty
Wed Oct 2, 2013 08:26:43

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said there would be no "cordial ties" with the US until Washington respects Venezuelan sovereignty.

"Until the US government understands it has to respect Venezuela, which is a sovereign country, there will simply be no cordial relations, nor cordial communication," Maduro said during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Maduro remarks came a day after he expelled US charge d'affaires Kelly Keiderling, the top US diplomat in the country, and two others, accusing them of meeting with right-wing opposition leaders and encouraging "acts of sabotage" against his country.

During the meeting, Maduro played a video showing the three US diplomats leaving a meeting with members of the political opposition in Puerto Ordaz, in southeast Bolivar state, home to Venezuela's main hydroelectric plant.

"This is the first video with elements that show that these agents accredited by the country, are trying to fish in troubled waters. They want to stir the waters, they have specific goals such as destabilizing the country," he said.

He said the diplomats had met with the "Venezuelan far-right" to finance his opponents and "encourage actions to sabotage the power system and the economy."

“We will not allow an imperial government to bring money and see how they can stop basic companies and stop the electricity to turn off all of Venezuela," Maduro said.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland rejected the Venezuelan government claims saying, “The US may take reciprocal action” in accordance with the Vienna Convention in diplomatic relations and Consular relations.

On March 5, Maduro expelled two US military attaches hours before announcing the death of President Hugo Chavez, accusing them of promoting "destabilization projects."

Caracas and Washington have been without ambassadors since 2010, when late President Chavez refused to accept a newly named US ambassador to the country.


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