Venezuela : US travel ban an opinion 'strategy'
UNITED NATIONS (AP):
Venezuela's top diplomat is calling US President Donald Trump's new travel ban on certain Venezuelan government officials an attempt to manipulate public opinion against the country.
Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza spoke yesterday at a news conference at the United Nations. He said Trump's order is "an unfounded strategy to soften the public opinion and to try to make a case against Venezuela".
On Sunday, Trump signed an order that will bar certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate families from entering the US.
Arreaza said his country was "looking for channels" to the Trump administration and was open to having a dialogue. But he says: "If we are attacked, we will respond in the same field."
Earlier yesterday, he told the UN General Assembly that Trump acted like "the world's emperor." Last week, Trump had said Venezuelan President Nicol·s Maduro was running a "corrupt regime."
Maduro responded from Caracas by calling Trump "the new Hitler" of international politics.
Venezuela's Supreme Court gutted the opposition-controlled congress in March. The ruling was later reversed. Recently, a new constitutional assembly composed entirely of government loyalists has gone after Maduro's political opponents.
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country's political and economic turmoil.