Venezuelan president calls for 'frank' dialogue with US

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 14, 2015
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Friday urged the United States for "frank dialogue", calling it an opportunity for his U.S. counterpart to correct an earlier misstep that raised tensions between the two countries.

"I reach out to the U.S. government, to work together towards frank dialogue and solutions based on international law, founded on mutual respect, so we can rectify this serious problem that has been created," Maduro said during a televised broadcast of an official event.

Maduro said President Barack Obama was surrounded by advisers who have misinformed him about Venezuela's situation, and advised him not to be deceived by Washington's right-wing lobbyists trying to affect bilateral ties.

In announcing the third set of sanctions against the South American country, Obama on Monday issued an executive order claiming "the situation in Venezuela ... constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat."

"Obama was pressured by these groups into taking this false step against Venezuela. From a moral, diplomatic and political standpoint, these sanctions and threats can really cost him, but I won't further complicate President Obama's life, what I'll do ask is that the error be rectified and corrected", said Maduro.

Senior U.S. officials have said the sanctions and executive order are not designed to topple Maduro, but rather "to persuade the government of Venezuela to change its ways."

Maduro said he has called on Latin American and Caribbean regional organizations to protect Venezuela against this "escalation" staged by Washington.

"I call on Unasur (the Union of South American Nations) to serve as a protective ring around our country and stop the U.S. aggression," said Maduro.

On Saturday in Ecuadorian capital of Quito, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez is to attend an extraordinary summit of Unasur ministers.

Ties between the U.S. and Venezuela have been rocky since Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999.

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