CARACAS – Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Tuesday that the sanctions the European Union imposed on Caracas are designed to create the conditions for an “intervention,” and he reiterated his rejection of the move after meeting with European diplomats accredited to the oil-producing nation.
At the Foreign Ministry, Arreaza told reporters that his country “reserves the right to respond, to defend itself with concrete responses in all areas.”
Venezuela’s top diplomat repudiated the sanctions imposed by the EU, which impede the Caracas government in acquiring equipment to “repress” protests.
The EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions consisting of a weapons embargo and a veto on providing items that could be used for “internal repression” of Venezuelans, and the European body opened the door to the possibility of imposing selective measures against individuals deemed to be responsible for such actions.
The Venezuelan government has said that the imposition of the sanctions was “unusual” and has asked for the EU to show respect for the country’s sovereignty.
“What we regret most of all is that the Europe ... which ... left conflicts, wars behind ... is being thwarted with such actions. That very beautiful idea is thwarted by actions such as the one taken yesterday,” he added.
Arreaza also mentioned the dialogue process between the Nicolas Maduro government and the Venezuelan opposition, telling the EU that those who have not wanted to attend those talks are anti-Chavista.
The EU measures against Venezuelan officials will be used in a “gradual and flexible” manner and will be “extended” to those who “do not respect democratic principles or the state of law” or are implicated in “the violation of human rights.”