Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez indicated Thursday that the Bolivarian Republic would be taking diplomatic actions in light of the new round of unilateral sanctions placed against eight Venezuelan Supreme Court justices by the United States.
Speaking from Barbados at a meeting of the the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, Rodriguez said that Venezuela had the opportunity to show before the participating Caribbean nations “the way in which the violence of the opposition has brought suffering to the people” in their aggressive efforts to remove President Nicolas Maduro. She praised the regional body for playing an important role in resisting U.S. aggression against the country's government.
Speaking to national representatives at the Caricom meeting, Rodriguez said that “the Caricom is deeply respectful of international law, and acts as a shield to protect us from imperial expansion."
On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on eight current and former Venezuelan Supreme Court justices for aiding the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro in supposedly “murdering” protesters during the opposition-led violent protests. The protests, which have often turned violent, have been continuing for nearly eight weeks.
The officials included in the sanctions are Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno, Calixto Ortega, Arcadio Delgado, Federico Fuenmayor, Carmen Zuleta, Lourdes Suarez Anderson, and Juan Jose Mendoza. Rodriguez said that “President Nicolas Maduro has ratified his support to these justices who have been victims of imperialist aggression.”
“Venezuela is not a threat to the United States, but neither is it a regional problem,” Rodriguez said while referring to the recent attempt by the U.S. to hold a meeting on Venezuela in the United Nations. She added that it was an attempt "to reinforce the role of one of their most inept employees, Luis Almagro," referring to the current secretary-general of the Organization of American States who called to suspend the Bolivarian nation from its charter.
The ongoing protests in Venezuela were a top agenda item for U.S. President Donald Tump's Thursday meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the same day that the most recent sanctions against the Venezuelan justices were announced. According to El Tiempo, several U.S. senators spoke to Santos about offering military aid to Colombia should the crisis in Venezuela continue.
Rodriguez denounced the “interventionist recipe of the United States, imposed through the Organization of American States," saying that it has failed in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and other nations.
Since 2009, the U.S. State Department has allocated at least US$49 million to oust the anti-imperialist Bolivarian government. The U.S. has identified Venezuela as one of its primary threats in the Western Hemisphere, according to a strategic document from 2007 leaked by former CIA contractor and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.