Nicolás Maduro Tells U.N.: ‘Venezuela Is Stronger than Ever’

Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela delivers a speech at the United Nations during the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, 2018 in New York City. World leaders are gathered for the 73rd annual meeting at the UN headquarters in Manhattan. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro made his way to New York Wednesday to address the United Nations General Assembly, where he accused the United States of orchestrating a terrorist attack against him and, without mentioning the grave humanitarian crisis his government created, declared, “Venezuela is stronger than ever.”

Venezuela’s ongoing deterioration – leading to widespread fears of starvation, a near-total lack of health care nationwide, and millions of refugees fleeing the country – has become one of the most popular topics at this year’s General Assembly. Neighboring countries like Colombia and Ecuador used their time to highlight the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis in the country and how it has affected their borders. President Donald Trump urged the audience to reject the “decay” and “misery” that have been proven to be inevitable byproducts of imposing the socialist ideology on nations.

Maduro did not mention the humanitarian crisis. Instead, he boasted that his nation had “the world’s largest oil and gold reserves” and noted, “Venezuela certifies today the fourth-largest natural gas reserves in the world.”

Any shortcomings that the Venezuelan people face, Maduro insisted, were the product of a “permanent aggression” on the part of the United States and its “satellite” nations in Latin America. He complained that, thanks to U.S. Treasury sanctions, his terrorist-affiliated regime “cannot do business in the international currency, the U.S. dollar.”

In the “media,” internationally, Maduro claimed “they” were “trying to create a precedent for international intervention.” For proof of this, Maduro cited an article published by the New York Times that revealed President Trump refused to help Venezuelan soldiers looking for U.S. support to act against the regime.

The Venezuelan refugee crisis, which the U.N. has certified to be larger than the number of African migrants trying to enter Italy, “has been fabricated,” Maduro insisted. “It falls on its own weight. They intend to distract from the real migrant crises around the world.”

Maduro then accused unspecified individuals in the United States of conspiring with the Colombian government to assassinate him in an alleged failed “terrorist” attack on August 4.

“On August 4, I was the victim of a terrorist attack with drones that attempted to assassinate me in a military event on a main street in Caracas,” Maduro said. “If it had been executed as it was planned – and this is public knowledge – it would have caused a massacre, the murder of the entire upper rank of the Venezuelan military.”

Maduro called the alleged attack the “first drone attack known in the history of global terrorism” despite the many drone attacks the Islamic State is known to have conducted in the Middle East.

“The terrorist attack … was prepared, funded, and planned on United States territory,” Maduro asserted. “I have made knowledge available to the United States of the name of the people responsible and the intellectual authors, the planners and funders.”

The individuals, Maduro claimed, “were trained, prepared for months, in Colombian territory under the support of the Colombian government.”

Despite his claims, Maduro claimed to be open to “stretch[ing] his hand out to the President of the United States to dialogue on bilateral differences and regional issues.”

“We Venezuelans do not hate the United States – on the contrary, we cherish it, its culture, its arts, its society,” he claimed, before reading a quote he alleged Venezuelan founding father Simón Bolívar said: “The United States appear destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of freedom.”

“Today, Venezuela is stronger than ever,” Maduro concluded. “We have learned to resist and find strength in our historic guts.”

The speech was the first time Maduro had addressed the General Assembly in two years, and it remained uncertain if he would do so until he posted a video of himself flying into New York on Twitter Wednesday afternoon:

Dictators and other criminal world leaders are allowed into the United Nations despite any potential criminal activity because the building is considered international territory and American law enforcement has no jurisdiction there. The United States has generally extended this courtesy to sanctioned individuals when they arrive in the New York area and are en route to the United Nations, even if they are technically on American soil.

Maduro, nonetheless, appeared to dither in deciding if he will attend the event, claiming that America may assassinate him while on the trip. Last year, Maduro claimed he was “too busy” to attend the event.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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