US Recognises Guaido in Venezuela: Maduro Ally Tells Sputnik What Happens Next

© REUTERS / Ueslei MarcelinoA man walks past a portrait of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela August 7, 2017.
A man walks past a portrait of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela August 7, 2017. - Sputnik International
On Sunday, Israel joined the US, Canada, several European states and US allies in Latin America in recognising Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim leader. Responding to the US move, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro broke off diplomatic relations with Washington.

Speaking to Sputnik about the situation, Saul Ortega, a lawmaker in Venezuela's National Assembly from the Maduro-aligned United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), warned that the decision was all just a part of the US' plans to intervene in their internal affairs to try to "colonise" the Latin American country.

"Guaido is nothing more than a puppet of the gringos. The time is coming for a struggle for the liberation of our country, for the expulsion of imperialism from Venezuela," Ortega said, speaking to Sputnik Mundo.

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"Submitting to the territorial claims of a foreign country, in this case US imperialism, is an act of treason against our country," the lawmaker added.

Asked about the possibility of an actual US military intervention in Venezuela to topple its legitimate government, Ortega stressed that the country's armed forces owed their existence to their "father liberator" Simon Bolivar, and were "deeply patriotic and nationalistic," and therefore would remain loyal to the government despite any pressure.

Venezuelan soldiers chanting "Listen Yankee to what I have to tell you – you are not going to intervene in my country…We will be your Latin American Vietnam."

"The same goes for the entire Venezuelan people. We do not accept either interference or gringo intervention in Venezuela. Any traitors will be treated as such," Ortega said. "Our people will fight for their peace and tranquillity, just as we fight for our sovereignty and our independence," the lawmaker said.

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Ultimately, Ortega warned that although Washington is currently focused on Venezuela, its plans "for the recolonisation of Latin America and the Caribbean" go far beyond his country. "

Recently, [Argentinian President Mauricio] Macri and [Brazilian counterpart Jair] Bolsonaro took action against [South American trade bloc] Mercosur, which speaks of the US intention to restore the Free Trade Area of the Americas, whose aim is to subordinate Latin America to US interests," the politician concluded.

The long-running political crisis in Venezuela escalated last week after the opposition-controlled National Assembly declared President Nicolas Maduro's election to a second term to be illegitimate, with the body's head Juan Guaido proclaiming himself interim president and demanding early elections. Later, media reports citing a senior member of the Trump administration indicated that Guaido made the power play following a telephone conversation with Vice President Mike Pence.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the US' policy toward Venezuela as "destructive" on Friday, and said that Washington's "open calls for a coup d'etat" in the country were "unacceptable."

Earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev similarly denounced US meddling in Venezuela's affairs, and stressed that Guaido's declaration of himself as president was equivalent to a fantasy scenario where Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared herself president of the United States over the shutdown crisis.

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