Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez on Saturday reiterated calls for supporting peace in the South American country and criticized ongoing violent right-wing protests, which have since reached the 50-day mark.
Rodriguez, speaking at a community event promoting Venezuela’s constituent assembly, said President Nicolas Maduro’s proposal would establish dialogue to resolve differences and create a state of peace and stability.
“We want no one to stay in their house because we have an essential task before us, which is the defense of Venezuela,” she said.
“It is a choice for all Venezuelans who oppose violence, want peace for our children and want to defend the sovereignty of Venezuela against the interventionist agents.”
The call has been supported by the National Electoral Council, oil union workers, sports promoters and other key sectors of Venezuelan society. Even 17 opposition parties have agreed to discuss the terms of the constituent assembly.
Right-wing groups aligned with the Democratic Unity Roundtable, however, have refused to negotiate with the government. Instead, they have perpetrated violent protests, which have since claimed at least 52 lives.
Venezuela’s Minister of Communication and Information Ernesto Villegas Poljak has rejected false information being released by international media which claims all of those who died were victims of “state crackdowns.” Contrarily, he stressed that there have been more officers of the Bolivarian National Guard wounded by gunshots than the total number of fatal victims.
During the protests, opposition forces have gone as far as employing a crude weaponry device dubbed “poopootov cocktails.” These are plastic bottles filled with human feces that are launched against government supporters.
Marielys Valdez, inspector general of courts, stated that the use of excrement in demonstrations to “neutralize public order” is considered a biochemical weapon whose use is punishable by law.
A host of other Venezuelan officials have also spoken out, saying the demonstrators are breaking international treaties on biological and chemical weapons.
On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on eight current and former Venezuelan Supreme Court justices for allegedly aiding Maduro in supposedly “murdering” protesters during the opposition-led violent protests.