Calling President Donald Trump a person who is "publicly and openly" a white supremacist and accusing the current U.S. government of being run by a racist "gang of extremists," Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro called on the people and leaders of the world to speak out against foreign intervention and instead back efforts for the nation to solve its problems peacefully from within.
In an interview with the BBC that aired Tuesday night, Maduro characterized U.S. efforts—including recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as "interim president" and gestures of foreign aid—as part of a "political war of American empire" being pursued by the "interests of the extreme right" (which he equated with the Klu Klux Klan) who are "warmongering in order to take over" his country.
Trump, said Maduro, "has encouraged fascist tendencies, the neo-fascists and the neo-Nazis, in the United States, in Europe, and Latin America. It's an extremist grouping that hates the world. They hate us and they belittle us because they only believe in their own interests and in the interests of the United States."
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While the U.S. is openly coordinating with the Venezuelan opposition to remove Maduro from power, the embattled president said he views the country already in conflict with hostile external forces, but said "it's a battle that goes further than our country. I call upon the people of the world to wake up, open your eyes to see that it is an aggression against a peaceful country."
While acknowledging that his nation has problems—"like many other countries in the world"—Maduro said "we can only resolve these ourselves peacefully. If you really want to support Venezuela, you have to support peace. Say no to intervention. Tell the United States to keep its hands off Venezuela and that Venezuela should be allowed to resolve its own problems through dialogue."