Venezuela has censured French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent remarks against the Latin American country’s leadership as “interference” in its internal affairs.
Macron said in a speech on Tuesday that President Nicolas Maduro had created a “dictatorship” in Venezuela.
His claim was one of the harshest condemnations yet of the country’s leadership by a European leader.
Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday, expressing its “firm rejection” of Macron’s “deplorable comments.”
“They constitute clear interference in the internal affairs” of Venezuela, the ministry said. “They are an assault on Venezuela’s institutions and appear driven by the constant imperial obsession with attacking our people,” the statement added.
The oil-rich but impoverished country has been convulsed by months of deadly protests against the government in Caracas.
The political tension rose after Caracas announced plans to establish the Constituent Assembly to take over the opposition-controlled parliament and rewrite the constitution. The opposition saw the move as an overt attempt by Maduro to accumulate power.
The unrest, which first broke out in April, has so far led to the death of at least 120 people from the two sides.
The United States imposed fresh sanctions against Caracas last week. On August 25, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that prohibits dealings with Venezuela, a measure taken to halt financing what the White House calls Maduro’s “dictatorship.”
Maduro described the move as illegal and designed to “asphyxiate” the Venezuelan economy and push the oil-rich nation into default.
He also says the United States and its allies in the region are fomenting instability to bring down his government.