Santa Elena de Uairen, September 2nd 2014 (venezuelanalysis.com)- While addressing a crowd yesterday in Caracas, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro criticized the “threats” made by the United States and Europe, insisting that “Russia defends itself, and is then accused of employing aggressive politics against the West.”
The South American president’s statement came hours after Washington and Brussels warned of deeper sanctions against Russia after president, Vladimir Putin, and his Ukranian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, failed to agree on a cease fire.
“We are very watchful of this threat to Russia,” Maduro said. “We in Venezuela demand in a clear voice … that those who accuse and accost Russia desist the attack, desist from seeking war with Russia. Peace!”
The Venezuelan leader went on to interpret the sanctions against Moscow as a “message to China… and the emerging BRICS powers.”
For many, the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] trade block represents economic multipolarity of the sort that late president Hugo Chavez championed. Maduro himself attended the BRICS summit in July in Fortaleza, Brazil.
“You’ve all seen the war they [Western powers] have waged on our sister Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, trying to uproot and destroy the project planted by [former Brazilian president] Lula da Silva of an integrated South America,” Maduro said, indicating that the threat of sanctions may be less of a response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and more of an attempt to “hinder the rise of the new powers of the multipolar world of the 21st century.”
Venezuela has significantly increased ties with Russia since 2011, signing cooperative agreements in the areas of energy, defense, agriculture, housing, and technology.
According to Putin, Russian companies were investing US$20 billion in Venezuela during Maduro’s visit to Moscow in July of last year.