More Latin American countries rallied behind Venezuela Tuesday to condemn new U.S. sanctions against the South American nation.
The Cuban government has slammed the U.S. sanctions as “arbitrary and aggressive.”
“How is Venezuela a threat to the United States? Thousands of kilometers away, without strategic weapons and without the resources … to conspire against the U.S. constitutional order; the (White House) declaration has little credibility,” read a statement published in newspaper Granma.
Former Cuban President Fidel Castro has also praised Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s “brilliant and valiant” response to what he described as “brutal” U.S. plans against Venezuela. The comments were made in a short letter to Maduro on Monday night.
Earlier in the day, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales said the regional blocs CELAC and UNASUR should immediately hold an “emergency meeting,” arguing the U.S. sanctions pose a threat to “all of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
« We condemn, we repudiate, in the 21st Century we won’t accept this kind of intervention by the United States,” Morales said. “All of our solidarity and our support goes to President Maduro, and the revolutionary Bolivarian government and people of Venezuela.”
UNASUR’s head and other regional leaders including Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa have already slammed the White House’s decision to impose more sanctions on Venezuela.
On Monday, President Barack Obama declared Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the United States.
Obama also issued sanctions on several high ranking Venezuelan government officials. The measures were issued under an executive order. In the past, the Obama administration has condemned Maduro for using executive orders to pass legislation.
“We believe the separation of powers and the presence of independent branches of government are essential elements of democracy, » a White House spokesperson said in 2013, after Maduro used an executive order to pass legislation aimed at stabilizing consumer prices.
Read more about Obama’s executive order on Venezuela here.