CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said on Monday that Venezuela and Russia’s oil and gas business are armored and do not run any risk within the framework of sanctions imposed by Washington against United States-based state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
“The business between Russia and Venezuela in the oil and gas field is armored,” said the Venezuelan president.
Maduro assured that Russia does not run “any risk” because of Washington’s sanctions against Venezuela, “because Russia is an independent and sovereign country, Russian companies are very powerful, have their own financial engineering, logistics and PDVSA is a company of a sovereign country.”
“Just like two independent countries, doing business, investing and developing large oil exploration projects, everything will go well, it’s armored,” he said.
Maduro then went onto comment about new elections.
In the opinion of the legitimate president, “it would be good if there were early parliamentary elections for the Venezuelan parliament, it would be a good form of political debate and a solution with the popular vote.”
As for the presidential elections, Maduro clarified once again that they had been held only 10 months ago and were carried out in accordance with all constitutional rules. In his words, he has obtained 68% of votes and, thus, his victory and mandate are legitimate.
“It is absurd to ignore the institutions, so we would be returning to the new colonialism, where from a European capital, Washington, they give orders to any country in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, any country in the world,” he said.
In this connection, the Venezuelan president assured that no foreign country can intervene in the Venezuelan political process.
“We do not accept an ultimatum from anyone in this world, we do not accept blackmail. The presidential elections in Venezuela have already taken place and, if the imperialists want new elections, they should wait until 2025,” he said.
Dialogue with the opposition
The Venezuelan president said he supports the dialogue with the opposition and indicated who could mediate the negotiations.
“I am ready to sit down at the negotiating table so that we speak for Venezuela, peace and its future,” he said.
According to him, “there are some governments, organizations in the world that demonstrate their sincere concern for what is happening in Venezuela”. In particular, he pointed to the authorities of Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, Russia, the Vatican, and other European governments as partners who want to normalize the situation in Venezuela.
Support from the Armed Forces
Despite the attempted military rebellion organized on January 21 in Caracas, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López reaffirmed the loyalty of the military to the current government of Nicolas Maduro, emphasizing that now is the time to show resistance.
Speaking on the subject, Nicolás Maduro praised the merits of Venezuelan troops and declared that he will continue to play his role as supreme commander of the Armed Forces.
“I am exercising my leadership and duties as Supreme Commander according to the Constitution, consolidating the Bolivarian National Armed Forces. And the Bolivarian Armed Forces will give a lesson in morale, loyalty and discipline to the northern empire and the fascist right in Venezuela, and we will have a great victory of stability, peace and loyalty,” he said.
Reasons for the US to intervene in Venezuela’s internal affairs
According to the Venezuelan leader, the main objective of the US’s intrusive behavior is the desire to gain access to Latin American oil , since it has “the largest proven reserves of oil in the world.”
Moreover, in their view, the US considers all of Latin America to be its “backyard.” However, Venezuela, which has a “200 year history”, does not accept such a development of the situation and that is why Washington intends to weaken Caracas.