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    Juan Guaido, President of Venezuela's National Assembly, reacts during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government and to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez in Caracas, Venezuela January 23, 2019

    UK Gov't 'Kowtows' to US Endorsing Venezuelan Opposition – Ex-London Mayor

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    LONDON (Sputnik) - The UK decision to endorse Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido reflects the country’s continuous policy of subservience to US foreign policy interests, whose ultimate goal is "regime change" in the beleaguered Latin American state, a former London mayor Livingstone told Sputnik.

    "The British Government continually kowtows to the Trump administration on Latin America, including Venezuela. After the disastrous interventions in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere you would hope they would learn the lessons but it seems not," a former London mayor and the honorary president of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC) Ken Livingstone, said.

    READ MORE: Nicolas Maduro Holding Press Conference at Presidential Palace (VIDEO)

    According to Livingstone, Washington "has been ramping up its 'regime change' strategy" toward Venezuela for some time — both directly and through its right-wing proxies within the Latin American country and the region.

    "It sets a very worrying precedent internationally and is totally against international law. Also, of course, it’s all about getting the US’ hands on Venezuela’s oil reserves," he argued.

    The former London mayor further stressed the need to "speak out against these illegal attempts" of regime change, otherwise other countries, such as Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, "will be worried they are next."

    Speaking about Venezuela’s economic woes, Livingstone noted that "a lot of the blame for this" rested with the United States, whose sanctions contributed much to the crisis and actually hit the poorest.

    "There have been problems in Venezuelan economic policy that many of us who are friends of the country have identified for some time, around lack of investment in particular, but, in addition of course to the collapse of oil prices in recent years. US sanctions have hit the economy incredibly hard, and hit ordinary people, especially the poorest, the hardest. These sanctions are opposed by a majority of both pro-and anti-government Venezuelans, which is not surprising as they are all about ‘regime change’ rather than helping the people of the country," he said.

    Livingstone also dismissed the allegations that Venezuela rested on a fraudulent electoral system, instead of maintaining that last year's vote — not recognized by the West and the opposition — was competitive and credible.

    "Maduro won last year’s presidential election with 68 percent of the vote, with some opposition parties taking part and others choosing to boycott of their own accord. International observers including representatives from the Council of Electoral Experts from Latin America confirmed the validity of the result," he said.

    The politician stressed that "a wide range of figures from across the Labour movement have been speaking out against" US actions and forceful regime change, adding that more than 1,500 people signed the relevant VSC petition within one day.

    The remarks come a day after Prime Minister Theresa May's government endorsed the speaker of the opposition-run Venezuelan National Assembly, who proclaimed himself interim president of the troubled Latin American republic on Wednesday. The United States became the first country to recognize Guaido. Since that, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru followed suit. Other states, such as Russia, China, Mexico, voiced their support for Nicholas Maduro as the country's legitimate president.

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


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