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"Venezuela has lived hours of anguish and pain that we can't afford to live again," said Maduro. "In order to maintain and build our freedom and our independence, to not be slaves any more of the Yankee empire." (Photo: Venezuela Ministry of Communication)

Venezuela's Maduro Accuses US of "Imperialist Attack" Against Latin American Leftists

Recent turmoil faced by progressive governments in Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela point to "an imperialist attack against all," Maduro says

Nika Knight Beauchamp

Venezuela's leftist president Nicolas Maduro told a crowd of supporters Saturday that the turmoil of recent months in progressive Latin American countries are the result of "an imperialist attack on all," teleSUR reports.

"It's an imperialist attack against all. From Venezuela we will fight the coup of the oligarchy."
—Nicolas Maduro

In his speech, Maduro referred to the impeachment process against Workers' Party president Dilma Rousseff—widely decried as a "coup" by many observers—and the recent murder of a Bolivian vice minister by striking miners.

"It's an imperialist attack against all," said Maduro, according to teleSUR. "From Venezuela we will fight the coup of the oligarchy."

Maduro compared the current situation to Operation Condor, the brutal U.S.-backed campaign that killed and "disappeared" leftists and installed repressive rightwing dictatorships in Latin American countries in the 1970s and 1980s.

Venezuela is currently in political and economic turmoil: the country has been struggling with drastic food shortages and blackouts for months as a result of the plunge in oil prices, and right-wing groups are engaging a a sustained attack on Maduro and seeking a recall vote on the progressive leader by the end of the year.

That effort has thus far been unsuccessful, as the Guardian reported earlier this month that a recall vote is unlikely to occur before 2017—at which point Maduro's leftist vice president will likely replace him, an outcome Maduro's opposition has been attempting to avoid.

U.S. and international media has focused on the food shortages without also emphasizing the sustained rightwing assault on Maduro's leadership, as teleSUR notes

Maduro told the rally on Saturday that "he will fight for sovereignty alongside the Latin American people and with the support of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, President Evo Morales in Bolivia, President Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua," naming several other South American leftist leaders, teleSUR reported.

The Latin American news outlet added:

Maduro made the comments as he spoke to workers and supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution at a rally outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas. He called on Venezuelans to defend peace, the future and democracy against what he termed a planned coup by the opposition in the country.

"Venezuela has lived hours of anguish and pain that we can't afford to live again," said Maduro. "In order to maintain and build our freedom and our independence, to not be slaves any more of the Yankee empire."

Maduro asserted earlier this year that Venezuela is being targeted for a U.S.-backed coup, as Common Dreams reported.

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