Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro has vowed to defeat the “crazed minority” currently attempting to remove him from power, as tensions continue to mount in the crisis-stricken country.
Speaking at the sixth anniversary of the death of his socialist predecessor, Hugo Chavez, on Tuesday, Maduro declared that he would overcome those pushing “hatred” against his regime.
“While a crazed minority continues with their hatred, with their bitterness, it’s their problem. We won’t pay attention to them, compatriots!” he said. “Let the crazy minority continue with their bitterness, we’ll defeat them. For Chavez, we’ll do it. For the great history of the country, we’ll do it.”
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) March 5, 2019
Maduro’s comments came as 35-year-old opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is internationally recognized as the country’s legitimate president, attempts to rally his supporters back on to the streets after returning from a trip to Colombia.
“Thank you all for the affection and the immense warmth with which we were greeted,” Guaidó wrote on Twitter. “I call on the country to mobilize again this Saturday 9th March. All the support we have received and the backing we need will depend on us being on the streets.”
“They thought the pressure had already maxed out,” he added. “They better know that the pressure has barely begun.”
Gracias a todos por el cariño y el calor inmenso con el que nos recibieron.
Convoco al país a movilizarse nuevamente este sábado #9Mar . Todo el apoyo que hemos recibido y el respaldo que necesitemos dependerán de que nos mantengamos en las calles.
¡Vamos muy bien, Venezuela!
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) March 4, 2019
Meanwhile, Maduro also called for “anti-imperialist marches” on Saturday in response to the opposition protests.
“Next March 9 is the four-year anniversary of the infamous Obama decree, that Venezuela is a threat,” Maduro declared. “That day will be decreed as the day of anti-imperialism and we will go to the streets this Saturday, March 9.”
In an interview with Fox Business on Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton revealed that White House is considering imposing a fresh round of sanctions on the Maduro regime, as they steps up their efforts to remove him from power and begin a democratic transition.
“We’re looking at new sanctions, new measures, to tighten our grip on Maduro’s financial wherewithal, to deny his regime the money that they need to stay in power,” Bolton said.
“I think Guaidó’s return was very significant. There was no effort by the military to arrest him, I think in large part because Maduro and his gang feel that if they tried to arrest him the military might’ve disobeyed the order and that really would’ve been a crisis for Maduro,” he continued “Popular support for Guaidó remains intense. The effect of our economic sanctions is still digging.”