Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro bashed the United States during a televised government youth rally on Thursday, calling it “a den for traitors, bandits and the corrupt.”
“There are bandits — I know who they are and where they are — that when we go in search for them, they end up escaping to the United States,” Maduro added.
The Bolivarian Revolution leader made the remarks amidst renewed U.S. attacks on the South American country.
On Monday, the U.S. President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department placed Venezuela’s Vice President Tareck El Aissami on a sanctions list for allegedly aiding drug traffickers and Middle Eastern terrorists. He was placed on the narcotics-related Kingpin Act Designation, making him the highest-ranking Venezuelan official to be sanctioned by the U.S.
El Aissami, pointing out that there is no legitimate evidence proving his complicity, has consistently denied all allegations, accusing the U.S. of slander.
Earlier that day, Cuban-American right-wing congressional leaders Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, called on lawmakers to boost funding for illegal right-wing opposition groups operating within the country. These are the same groups that have received millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars for over 15 years and are responsible for deaths associated with their violent “guarimbas.”
On Wednesday, Trump met with Lilian Tintori, the wife of convicted opposition criminal Leopoldo Lopez, at the White House. The pair discussed ways to ramp up pressure and sanctions on the South American country.
While the U.S. and its right-wing opposition escalated attacks on Venezuela this week, Venezuela's leadership did not back down.
Venezuela’s National Telecommunications Commission, CONATEL, announced plans on Wednesday to begin sanctioning procedures against CNN en Español for its “direct aggression against the Venezuelan people and state.”
And on Thursday, after Tintori met with Trump, Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice upheld Lopez’s 14-year jail sentence. Lopez was found guilty of inciting violence during protests in 2014.