Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced on Tuesday that his government may take diplomatic, economic, and other measures against the Spanish government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which urged Caracas to release right-wing opposition leaders, in prison for causing last years waves of violence.
The waves of violence left 43 dead, hundreds injured, and many deprived of basic human rights to education and health, with roads, schools, and hospitals blocked by violent opposition sectors around the country. Maduro said the Spanish parliament should worry about their country's own issues like corruption and record-high unemployment of nearly 25 percent.
"There is a constant attack on Venezuela from Madrid that only seeks to spread fear and hate towards our socialist government," Maduro stated in his weekly TV program.
Maduro's criticism follows a recent vote by members of the Spanish parliament urging the Venezuelan government to free opposition leaders, including the mayor of the Caracas Metropolitan district Antonio Ledezma, former mayor of the Caracas Chacao municipality Leopoldo Lopez, and former mayor of San Cristobal city Daniel Ceballos.
During his remarks, Maduro also ordered Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez to assess this "aggression" by the Spanish government and prepare adequate diplomatic responses to the "offense."
The vote was backed by the ruling Popular Party (PP), which is currently undergoing an ongoing high-profile investigation in Spain over corruption and money laundering charges.
In response to Maduro’s comments, Spain’s foreign affairs ministry has summoned Venezuela’s ambassador in Madrid, Mario Isea, in order to seek clarification regarding the statements made by President Nicolas Maduro