Venezuelan VP urges Guaido to stop 'calling for invasion'
CGTN

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez on Saturday called on opposition leader and self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido to reconsider his course of action and stop "the madness of calling for an invasion."

"Reflect and place yourself on the right side of history," Rodriguez said, a day after Guaido said he would not rule out authorizing the United States to launch a military intervention to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

The vice president made the statements amid a government-backed signature drive to show that most Venezuelans do not support foreign intervention in their country, as the opposition claims.

A Venezuelan militia member signs a petition demanding an end to U.S. intervention in Venezuela, in San Antonio, Venezuela, February 8, 2019. /VCG Photo

A Venezuelan militia member signs a petition demanding an end to U.S. intervention in Venezuela, in San Antonio, Venezuela, February 8, 2019. /VCG Photo

In Caracas' central Bolivar Square, Rodriguez signed the petition, which appeals to U.S. President Donald Trump to respect Venezuelan sovereignty and lift the crippling economic sanctions.

Rodriguez also criticized the country's opposition-controlled National Assembly for debating whether to "authorize" a foreign military incursion in Venezuela.

"There is no country in the world where the supposed parliament advocates foreign military intervention in the country," said Rodriguez. "It's outrageous."

"The Venezuelan people have given very clear signals of what they want: they want peace, they want tranquility (and) to continue to be governed by the Bolivarian Revolution," said Rodriguez, referring to the ruling socialist party's reform movement.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido makes a speech in Caracas, Venezuela, February 8, 2019. /VCG Photo

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido makes a speech in Caracas, Venezuela, February 8, 2019. /VCG Photo

Political tensions in Venezuela between the government and opposition groups came to a head after Maduro was sworn in to a new term on January 10.

The opposition, which largely boycotted the presidential elections in May, refuses to recognize Maduro's reelection win and has been demanding a new round of voting.

With Washington's collaboration, the opposition has arranged for U.S. humanitarian aid to be delivered to the border, but Venezuelan officials have blocked the move, suspecting "it is a pretext to invade Venezuela," said Rodriguez.

Maduro rejects EU-backed document

Maduro on Friday rejected a document issued a day earlier in Montevideo, Uruguay, by the International Contact Group on Venezuela.

00:51

The document, signed by a majority of the group, with the exception of Mexico and Bolivia, is biased in its recommendations on how to overcome Venezuela's political crisis, Maduro said.

"I totally disagree with its partiality," said Maduro.

At the same time, Maduro invited the group's envoy to Venezuela for talks.

The group, which gathers the European Union (EU) and 13 Latin American and European countries, issued a declaration following its first meeting on Thursday, in which it backed a new round of presidential elections in Venezuela as the right-wing opposition has been demanding.

People cross the Colombian-Venezuelan border over the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, February 9, 2019. /VCG Photo

People cross the Colombian-Venezuelan border over the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, February 9, 2019. /VCG Photo

Meanwhile, the U.S. has presented a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling for international aid deliveries and a presidential vote in Venezuela, triggering a Russian counter-proposal. No date has yet been set for a vote on the American draft, and negotiations are ongoing.

Despite the ongoing economic and political crisis, Maduro maintains strong support among some poor people in the country.

"We hope that Maduro can carry the burden because he is under a lot of pressure," Manuel Perez, a retiree, told CGTN. "We trust in God for a solution."

A woman holds an image of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as she attends a pro-government rally in San Antonio, Venezuela, February 8, 2019. /VCG Photo

A woman holds an image of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as she attends a pro-government rally in San Antonio, Venezuela, February 8, 2019. /VCG Photo

China has stressed that Venezuela's affairs must and can only be decided by its own people.

"We call on all relevant parties to respect Venezuelan people's choice, and we support all parties in Venezuela to seek a political solution through peaceful dialogue within the framework of the nation's constitution," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing recently, adding that Beijing opposes foreign interference in Venezuela's affairs, especially the threat of military interference.

(Cover: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (L), next to Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, signs a document through which his government breaks off diplomatic ties with the U.S. during a gathering in Caracas, Venezuela, January 23, 2019. /VCG Photo)

14649km
Source(s): AFP ,Xinhua News Agency