President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the closure of Venezuela’s embassy and consulates in the US after Washington threw its weight behind opposition Leader Juan Guaido who declared himself interim president.
According to Press TV, the call came only a day after Caracas severed diplomatic ties with Washington and ordered all US diplomats to leave Venezuela within 72 hours.
During a lengthy speech at a special session at the Supreme Court, the Venezuelan president censured US President Donald Trump for seeking to orchestrate a coup against his government and backing the self-declared leader.
“I believe there’s no doubt that Donald Trump wants to impose a de facto government, unconstitutional government, a coup against the people and democracy in Venezuela,” Maduro said.
“There’s no doubt that is Donald Trump with his craziness of believing he’s the world’s police,” he said.
At least 10 countries, including Russia, Turkey and Iran, have expressed their support for Maduro and condemned outside interference in Venezuela.
On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the Islamic Republic “backs Venezuela’s nation and legitimate government in the face of any foreign meddling in the country’s domestic affairs or any illegitimate and illegal measure such as attempts for a coup or moves against the people.”
Russia also stressed that it would stand by Venezuela to protect its sovereignty, warning that Washington’s moves could lead to lawlessness and bloodshed in Venezuela. Moscow said foreign powers’ support for the opposition leader is a bid to “usurp power”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also voiced solidarity with his Venezuelan counterpart and tweeted: “My brother Maduro! Stand tall, we are standing by you.”
China, which has backed Maduro’s sovereignty, said it opposed any outside interference. Bolivia, Mexico and Cuba all expressed support for the Venezuelan president.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement has also voiced support for the Venezuelan president in the face of the US-backed coup against Maduro’s “legitimate” government.
Meanwhile, Ilhan Omar, who made headlines last November after becoming the first Somali American ever elected to the US Congress, condemned the US moves in Venezuela, calling on all to support efforts aimed at “facilitating a peaceful dialogue” in the crisis-hit country.
The European Union has not recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s new head of state, but called for new elections in the South American country.
Minutes after Guaido’s highly-provocative declaration, Trump recognized him as the “legitimate” interim president of Venezuela, calling on other governments in the Western Hemisphere to also recognize his so-called presidency.