OAS Secretary-General, Luis Almagro, should “prepare his rifle” if he wants to invade his country, Maduro said during a press conference in Caracas on Tuesday, adding that “we are waiting for you here.”
The Venezuelan leader called Almagro a “piece of trash” belonging to the “dump of history.”
“Venezuela is a country of men and women who will force such trash as this to respect them,” he added.
The angry remarks came in response to comments made by Almagro last week. The OAS chief suggested that “military intervention aimed at overthrowing the regime of Nicolas Maduro”was a viable option to deal with the Venezuelan crisis. He somewhat retracted his remark since then, however, claiming his words had been misunderstood.
“I said that we must exhaust the path to diplomatic action and that we must leave all options open. This was interpreted as though we were talking about military interventions,” the OAS chief stated on Monday, adding, however, that he will never remain silent until the “dictatorship” in Venezuela falls.
Maduro and chief of the Washington, DC-based OAS Almagro have repeatedly engaged in a war of words, calling each other “traitors.” Back in 2016, the Venezuelan leader accused Almagro of being a “CIA agent,” who turned the organization into a US pawn. The latter dismissed the accusations, claiming Maduro “slandered” him.
The recent controversial remarks by Almagro came shortly after a report, issued by the New York Times, alleging that Donald Trump’s administration has long been conspiring with a group of Venezuelan officers to overthrow the government in Caracas. At least 11 unnamed US officials and one former Venezuelan commander supposedly took part in the plot.
The White House commented on the report quite vaguely, stating Washington “hears daily concerns of Venezuelans,”including some from the country’s “security services.” The information provided in the report, however, was never explicitly denied.
Venezuela has been enduring political instability, economic problems and hyperinflation over the past months, which are reinforced by the mounting external pressure. The US has imposed a set of sanctions on the country, targeting its finances and debt issuance. Washington, however, stopped short of sanctioning the country’s oil sector, which is the cornerstone of its economy, since the US purchases a large part of its crude oil from Caracas.