In a televised nationwide address, commander says White House ordered this attack and calls on public to mount active resistance
The United States has said it will withdraw all remaining diplomatic staff from Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro accused Donald Trump of masterminding a “demonic” plot to force him from influence by crippling the country’s electricity system with an imperialist” electromagnetic assault “.
The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, heralded the decision to vacate the US embassy in the crisis-stricken country’s capital, Caracas, late on Monday.
” This decision shows the worsening situation in #Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of US diplomatic staff at the embassy becomes a constraint on US plan ,” Pompeo tweeted.
Maduro’s political foes and many specialists belief the calamitous nationwide blackout that struck last Thursday- and has yet to be resolved- is the result of years of mismanagement, corruption and incompetence.
” We are in the middle of a catastrophe that is not the result of a typhoon, that is not the result of a tsunami ,” Juan Guaido, the opposition leader combating to topple Maduro, told CNN on Sunday.” It’s the product of the inefficiency, the incapability, the corruption of a regime that doesn’t care about the lives of Venezuelans .”
But in a televised nationwide address on Monday night Maduro pointed the finger of blamed at the White House in what commentators denounced as a cynical attempt to deflect criticism of his regime’s responsibility.
” The United States’ imperialist government ordered this attack ,” Maduro claimed in his 35 -minute speech, merely his second substantial intervention since the crisis began last week.
” They came with a strategy of campaign of the kind that only these felons- who have been to campaign and have destroyed the people of Iraq, of Libya, of Afghanistan and of Syria- think up .”
Maduro alleged the US had conducted the two attacks- in league with” dolls and buffoons” from the Venezuelan opposition- so as to create” a nation of hopelessnes, of widespread wishing and of conflict” that would justify a foreign intervention and Venezuela’s military occupation.
But Maduro, who acquired Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian revolution after his 2013 demise, vowed that the believed attack on Venezuela’s grid would be thwarted.
” Victory belongs to us ,” he declared.” What you can be certain of is that sooner rather later, in the coming periods, we will win this battle definitively … We will win – and we will do it for Venezuela. We will do it for our homeland. We will do it for you … we will do it because of our people’s right to happiness .”
Ominously, he called on Venezuelan citizens and on pro-government paramilitary gangs known as colectivos to fight the “imperialist” invasion.” The day has come for active resistance ,” he said.
Maduro has been fighting for political survival since January when Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s legitimate commander and was rapidly recognised as interim chairwoman by dozens of western nations including the US and Britain.
Maduro’s many antagonists- who blame him for a devastating economic collapse that has triggered the most severe migration crisis in recent Latin American history- ridicule his claims that the outage is part of a White House conspiracy.
Anna Ferrera, a student activist in Caracas, said:” They go around and around saying this was sabotage and how the US always sabotages things and the empire is going against Venezuela. But they haven’t given any[ credible] interpretation .”
” They ever make up stories to explain the flaws of the organizations of the system … this is outrageous ,” added Ferrera, who said she feared many might accept Maduro’s version because the black out had knocked out communication systems across the country, committing his administration a monopoly on information.
Dimitris Pantoulas, a Caracas-based political analyst, said Maduro had appeared” worried, anxious and absolutely desperate” in his Monday night broadcast, indicating the situation was dire.
” It is clear, from what he said, that the government does not control the situation( nobody does) and they do not have any design or strategy ,” Pantoulas tweeted.
Maduro- who gave no testify for its statement of claim- imparted little hint that an end was in sight to a crisis that the opposition blames for at the least 21 extinctions and many panic could plunge the country into violence and turmoil.
” They will insist in their attacks ,” Maduro said, calling on Venezuelans to respond with” nerves of sword “.
Speaking to CNN hours earlier, Guaido said:” Venezuela has truly collapsed already … You can say with all responsibility that Venezuela has already collapsed .”