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Venezuela calls on EU to ‘cease its systematic aggression’ against Latin American countries

VENEZUELA has called on the European Union to “cease its systematic aggression” and abandon its neocolonial approach to Latin American countries after sanctions were placed on 19 officials on Monday.

The Foreign Ministry condemned the neoliberal bloc for its latest interference, which, it said, was an action aimed at forcing regime change in Venezuela.

“These erratic decisions reveal the inability of the European bloc to attend to, respect and accept the will of the Venezuelan people, and once again reveal its anachronistic interventionist and interference policy towards Venezuela,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

The EU, following the United States’ lead, recognised opposition politician Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s self-declared “interim president” after the disputed re-election of President Nicolas Maduro in 2018, but the bloc has recently downgraded Mr Guaido’s status to that of “privileged interlocutor.”

Mr Maduro hit out at the US and EU sanctions regime at a meeting of the United Nations human rights council, which opened on Monday, saying it had seriously undermined the country’s ability to tackle to coronavirus pandemic.

“The US has applied over 450 unilateral coercive measures, which have caused economic damages of more than $30 billion [£21bn], that could have been used to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and achieve better living standards for Venezuelans,”  he said.

The Bolivarian leader stressed the importance of a united response to the global pandemic, calling for a multilateral approach and support for the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

World leaders must join forces and “put aside selfish and individualist behaviours” regarding the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, Mr Maduro said.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that some rich countries’ direct deals with manufacturers meant that previously agreed vaccine allocations for poorer countries via the Covax programme were being reduced.

Venezuela has reported 136,068 Covid-19 cases and 1,316 related deaths.

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