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US Activity in Venezuela Mainly Aimed at Getting Country's Oil - Maduro

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CARACAS (Sputnik) - The primary goal of the United States in dealing with Venezuela is to get the country's oil and other natural resources, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told Sputnik in an interview.

"There are a couple of goals. The primary goal is to get Venezuelan oil, since we have the biggest reserves of certified oil in the world. We are certifying what is on track to become the biggest gold reserves in the world, we have the fourth biggest gas reserves in the world, we have vast reserves of diamonds, huge reserves of drinking water, aluminium, iron, coltan. We are a power in the field of energy resources, natural resources", Maduro said.

Nicolas Maduro, presidente de Venezuela - Sputnik International
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The second goal is related to ideology, Maduro said adding that the United States is seeking to "kill the spirit" of Bolivarian history, culture, and traditions.

"Venezuela is the country where [Simon] Bolivar was born. We have the strongest Bolivarian tradition here. For 200 years, our revolutionary project has been influencing Latin America and the countries of the Caribbean. They [the United States] want to fundamentally destroy the example, the idea, the spirit of Simon Bolivar", Maduro stressed.

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"They [the United States] consider us to be their 'backyard'. And we say, we are not anyone's backyard, we are an independent republic", Maduro added.    

Last Monday, mass protests erupted across Venezuela and lasted for several days while on 23 January, opposition leader Guaido declared himself the country's interim president.

The United States has urged Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down and let Guaido assume the presidency with Maduro responding that Washington is attempting to stage a coup d'etat in the country, and announcing a decision to cut off diplomatic ties with the US.    

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro - Sputnik International
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The UK, Germany, France, and Spain declared on Saturday their intention to recognise Juan Guaido as the country's interim president if Caracas does not announce snap presidential elections within eight days.

In turn, Russia, Cuba, China, Turkey and Iran have given Maduro's government full support. Maduro himself has called Venezuela "the victim of a US conspiracy", referring to US Vice President Mike Pence promising Guaido "full American support" the day before he declared himself Venezuela's new head of state. Maduro also stressed that Venezuela had held legitimate elections and urged the European countries to withdraw their demand.

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