Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed the month-old unrest shaking his country on a “minority” that has left the opposition in a difficult situation.
In an interview with an english news channel, Maduro also renewed his call for establishing a new level of relations with the United States after years of frosty relations.
“My message (to the US) is: respect, dialogue, that we overcome the visions they have of our country,” Maduro said.
“Our message to those who rule the US is respect Venezuela, respect Latin America and let’s establish new levels of relations.”
Only excerpts of the interview hosted by Christiane Amanpour were released, which it said would air in full Friday.
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“Those who have started the violence are in the minority,” Maduro said.
“It’s a tiny group belonging to the opposition and they have put the rest of the opposition in a dire situation.”
He wondered aloud what would happen “if a tiny group said they were going to start a revolution or a revolt to change the constitutional government of the US.”
“I guess they would react and resort to the tools to restore order and peace,” Maduro said.
The United States and Venezuela have not had ambassadors in each other’s countries since 2010. Last month, the two countries exchanged hostile gestures, such as Caracas expelling three US diplomats. Washington answered in kind.
However, Maduro appointed young diplomat Maximilian Arvelaez to serve as his ambassador to Washington.
The US State Department, however, gave the move a cool reception, noting that an exchange of ambassadors must be a reciprocal gesture.
Two weeks ago, an English news channel said that the Venezuelan government had revoked the credential of the news network’s staff in Caracas and work permits for anchors Patricia Janiot and Rafael Lomo.