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Iran Press TV

Venezuela's Maduro censures 'criminal' US sanctions during military parade

Iran Press TV

Monday, 06 July 2020 6:33 AM

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has denounced the United States for keeping up its "criminal sanctions" against the Latin American nation even during the deadly coronavirus pandemic as he oversees a grand military parade on the country's Independence Day.

Maduro made the comments on Sunday during a ceremony, which celebrated the enactment of the 1811 Venezuelan Declaration of Independence from Spanish rule.

Prior to the speech, the Venezuelan military put on a show of force, with planes flying over Caracas and soldiers marching past the president and senior military officials.

Maduro further said the world thought that the "American imperialism would take a pause" at a time when Venezuela – along with other states – is fighting to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

"On the contrary, they intensified their criminal sanctions, a campaign against food, against medicine, against petrol that Venezuela seeks and buys in the world," he added.

Washington, Maduro said, was trying to "create an unmanageable crisis" and more "suffering for the Venezuelan people."

The US has over the past years imposed harsh economic sanctions on the oil-rich country to pressure Maduro to step down, forcing millions of Venezuelans to abandon their homeland due to a lack of basic food and necessities.

According to UN statistics, at least 3.3 million people have left the country of 30 million since the end of 2015.

The US – backed by dozens of its regional and Western allies – has stepped up its anti-Maduro push by lending support to right-wing opposition figure Juan Guaido in his bid to topple the elected government in Caracas.

Guaido – who has declared himself "interim president" of Venezuela – has been behind two abortive coup attempts over the past year with an aim to make the Venezuelan military turn against the Caracas government.

Elsewhere in his comments, Maduro attacked the country's right-wing "coup mongers" for supporting Washington's "macabre fascist vision" in dealing with the Venezuelan nation.

He also blamed neighboring Colombia for the coronavirus outbreak in Venezuela and said, "The Colombian virus has expanded throughout the country and now we are cutting the transmission chain for the Colombian virus that (Colombian President Ivan) Duque sent."

Following in Washington's footsteps, Colombia has recognized Guaido's power grab bid and has been supporting his attempts to unseat the Maduro government.

Maduro praised Venezuela's response to the outbreak and said, "It's a tremendous battle that our people have taken on against the pandemic."

The president said "the fight is harsh and it is tough," but his government has "taken all the right decisions in time" to face the coronavirus pandemic.

"The people know that they can trust in their government, that they can trust in the civil and military authorities in this battle that we are taking on against coronavirus," he added.

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