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    US Wages 'International Struggle' for Hegemony Over Latin America - Ex-Labour MP

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    LONDON (Sputnik) - Washington is attempting to assert dominance over Venezuela and Latin America as a whole while at the same time moving to exclude nations that desire friendly relations with Caracas, Colin Burgon, the chairman of UK-based Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America organisation, told Sputnik.

    "This is a struggle on many levels, it's an international struggle for American hegemony and hegemony over Latin America… The Monroe doctrine [US foreign policy doctrine declared in 1823 by then-President James Monroe]… is now working against Russia and China or any other nation that wants to have friendly relations with Venezuela. On a second level there's also conflict within these respective countries", Burgon, a former Labour UK parliamentarian for Elmet county constituency, said on the sidelines of a rally in London organised by UK political group Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.

    READ MORE: Ex-Head of Venezuela's PDVSA Energy Firm Says Ready to Run for Presidency

    He stressed that everyone was free to choose whom to support, whether that be the "discredited right-wing regimes" or incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

    "It's a simple, clear choice, and the people here today are clear in who we should support", he added.

    The politician went on to dismiss the European Parliament's Thursday resolution declaring recognition for the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido.

    Burgon argued that the real power in the bloc was vested not in the European Parliament but in the European Commission, which had been "definitely hostile" toward Maduro's administration.

    "Usually the European Parliament is a toothless animal… Given how the undemocratic EU is run, it's irrelevant what the European Parliament says. It's what the [European] Commission says [that matters], and it's the commissioners who run Europe. And they are definitely hostile to Venezuela", Burgon stressed.

    Venezuela is currently going through a political crisis, with Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled Venezuelan National Assembly, having declared himself the country's interim president on January 23. Maduro has repeatedly blamed Washington for being behind a state coup in Venezuela. Mexico, Uruguay, and Russia were among the countries that have voiced their support for Maduro as the only legitimate leader.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, United States, Venezuela
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