Press TV has conducted an interview with Gloria Estela La Riva, Latin American expert from San Francisco, about Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduroâ€™s reaction to calls in the United States for punitive measures against his government over alleged human rights violations.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV:Â Ms. La Riva, First of all what is the root cause of Washington’s enmity against Caracas?
La Riva:Â Venezuela has been targeted by the United States ever since Hugo Chavez’s election and his taking of office in 1999. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, very high quality oil and an enormous amount of gas, great water power and resources. Itâ€™s a very rich country.
And the fact that itâ€™s not just resources but the resources are used by the people, that the resources are nationalized and guaranteed for the Venezuelan people by its constitution.
Itâ€™s a tremendous example for the people of the Latin America because everybody in the world can see that the best development that economic and otherwise … in Venezuela at this moment.
And yet the US claim of sanctions against certain individuals shows also that the US is quite dependent on that oil. They canâ€™t quite declare a blockade like they have against Cuba because they need oil.
Press TV:Â To speak of those sanctions, the United States accuses Venezuela of human rights violations, and of course imposes those sanctions. Has there ever been a time when the United States has been penalized with sanctions for the human rights it has violated against its own people let alone other nations?
La Riva:Â Well, it is a rhetorical question and it needs a rhetorical answer. Obviously the United States believes that it is the arbiter or the policeman of the world. But Venezuela has had eighteen elections now, eighteen referenda or elections in fifteen years since the Bolivarian revolution first was launched with Hugo Chavez. And they have been quite free, quite democratic, quite free elections and they have proven that the majority of people want the change that they are enjoying now and this really rankles the Unites States.
While the US demands democracy and so on in Venezuela, the United States is arming these terrorist organizations which have set fire to public buildings, kill dozens of people, build huge barricades in the streets, and use fascist gangs that are proven to be financed from abroad, specifically the United States government.
I think that the progress that has taken place in Venezuela is being somewhat thwarted by these threats and by the violence that the US is behind.