US trying to do Iraq-like coup in Venezuela: Ambassador

New Delhi, Feb 5 : The US is trying to do to Venezuela what it did to Libya and Iraq with a military intervention on "artificial" grounds and attempts for a coup are underway through mercenaries, Venezuela Ambassador to India Augusto Montiel said on Tuesday.

Venezuela is mired in political turmoil which began when opposition leader Juan Guaido -- backed by the US -- rejected last year's election as not free and on January 23 declared himself "interim President" of the nation till fresh polls were conducted.

"The US has never accepted election results in Venezuela except when the winning candidate has been backed by it.

It attempted a coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002 but failed. Same story is being repeated again. This is unacceptable to us," Montiel told reporters here.

He accused Washington of attempting to topple the "democratically elected" government of Nicolas Maduro through a military intervention.

He said that the US was going to use Brazil and Colombia as its military bases for its intervention through mercenaries.

Austria, Britain, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Spain and Sweden have recognized Guaido as interim President.

But Russia and China -- both UN Security Council members -- weighed in favour of Maduro.

The Ambassador said a "propaganda campaign was being run by international news agencies which were spreading lies about the conditions in Venezuela".

He called Guaido a "puppet of US" and a man "trained by the Central Intelligence Agency".

The diplomat added that the economic crisis in his country was because of the US-imposed sanctions, which led to a drop in its oil exports.

Since the US sanctions, imposed last week in an attempt to force Maduro out of power, India's oil import has reduced by 100,000 barrels per day.

India used to import 500,000 barrels per day from Venezuela, which has now come down to 400,000 barrels per day, the diplomat said.



Source: IANS