‘Add fuel to the fire’: China slams US over Venezuela sanctions

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China on Tuesday slammed the United States for what it called “one-sided” sanctions on the embattled Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela.

“We stand against one-sided sanctions. History shows that foreign interventions or sanctions only make the situation more complicated, being unable to solve the problem,” Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

“We support the Venezuelan government’s efforts to uphold national sovereignty, independence and stability,” he said, and urged all countries to “oppose external intervention in Venezuela’s affairs as well as any attempts by one country to interfere in another’s internal affairs”.

“Venezuela’s affairs must and can only be independently determined by its own people,” the spokesperson added

The diplomat reported that Beijing recognizes Maduro as the lawful head of state, despite all the compulsion being put on him. He wrote that Chinese leader Xi Jinping sent his representative to Maduro’s inauguration earlier in January, and reported that this was a strong sign of support for Venezuela, RT added.

“Would we be able to do so if we didn’t recognize him?” Geng asked rhetorically.
On Monday, Washington issued a package of sanctions targeting Venezuela’s state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), believing that it would prevent “further diversion” of assets by “former president Maduro.”

The new restrictions will freeze $7 billion in assets and cause better than $11 billion in lost export revenues throughout the next year.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton, discussing a White House press briefing on Monday, called on all “responsible nations” to recognise self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido as the country’s fair head of state.

Bolton explained that Vice President Mike Pence plans to see with Guaido’s envoy to the United States soon.

Bolton also stated he believes the Venezuelan military was searching for ways to support Guaido.

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Maduro has called Guaido a US puppet and blamed Washington of attempting to organize a coup in Venezuela.