The president of Venezuela thinks Joe Biden is conspiring against him.
Nicolas Maduro, the successor of Hugo Chavez, who also thought the U.S. was always trying to kill him, called upon Venezuelans to “be on the maximum alert level” as the Biden threat looms.
“A plan has been launched for a coup d’état. I know well what I am saying,” Maduro said Sunday, according to El Universal.
“The imperial power has entered into a despair phase (…) They, in their madness, do not realize the strength (Venezuelan) people have,” Maduro added.
Biden and Maduro reportedly had a “brief and polite” exchange that lasted a few minutes in Brasilia earlier this month.
They allegedly each shared their desires for better relations between the two countries.
“When President Maduro spoke about sanctions, the vice-president (Biden) told him that they are aimed at human rights abusers and not the Venezuelan people,” a U.S. official said, according to El Universal.
Maduro said in June that he could give to the State Department evidence “implicating high-rank public servants in a plot for assassinating the president.”
“At the first opportunity, they flee to Miami,” Maduro said of those allegedly involved in the plot. “Well, let us find them there, too. Let us initiate international lawsuits to show the world the truth: that Venezuela is growing for peace and in peace.”
The State Department today announced additional visa restrictions against human-rights abusers and corrupt officials in Venezuela. “Ignoring repeated calls for change by governments, respected leaders, and groups of experts, the Venezuelan Government has continued to demonstrate a lack of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, attempting to stifle dissent by prosecuting political activists and cracking down on peaceful protests, which were triggered by deteriorating security, economic, social, and political conditions,” the announcement said.
Press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters today that allegations of a Biden conspiracy “are baseless and false.”
“Such allegations distract from Venezuela’s own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. The Venezuelan government should focus on the legitimate grievances of its people, which include repeated violations of the freedom of speech — of freedom of speech and assembly, as well as due process under the law,” Psaki said.
Maduro “accusing the vice president of plotting to overthrow him” is “obviously is a ludicrous and inaccurate accusation,” she added.
“My point is that Venezuela needs to take a look at their own governing, instead of throwing accusations at the Vice President of the United States.”