Venezuelan ambassador to India Augusto Montiel Thursday alleged that the US government was behind the protests that were taking place in his country.
Showing pictures and videos of a march by President Nicolas Maduro’s supporters, he claimed they were not being broadcast by the western media. He thanked the Indian government for reposing faith in and supporting the Maduro government, citing Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar’s presence at a ceremony to mark Venezuelan national day last month, around the time the protests erupted.
More than 30 people have been killed in a month of demonstrations against the socialist leader’s government and his plan to rewrite the constitution.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Montiel on Thursday refuted reports of the Venezuelan government trying to suppress protesters. “The government in Venezuela does not repress peaceful demonstration. What no country in the world, including India or the US, will not tolerate is violent protest demonstrations.”
“It is a complete attack on democracy. It is a completely political attack… they want to overthrow the Maduro government,” he said at the Venezuelan embassy here. “They don’t want dialogue… just as the position of the US government. The US government is behind this… they call it transition to democracy. Isn’t this intervention, a strategy to topple the government?
“They are trying to create a big lie, about failed state… Venezuela is a country with 100 per cent literacy. No child dies of malnutrition in Venezuela. It is doing very well, according to the Human Development Index,” he added.
Asked what the motive could be, he said, “It is about controlling oil reserves in Venezuela, so they are trying to create an image of a dictator…”