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Venezuelan MP: Maduro’s Support to Iran Sign of his Failure | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (file), Reuters/ Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Caracas – Venezuelan opposition leader and MP Maria Corina Machado criticized on Sunday her country’s President Nicolas Maduro for publicly supporting Iran on the international level.

Machado also accused the current government of forging ties with Iranian terrorist organizations and drug dealers.

Venezuela’s opposition claims to have enough signatures to initiate the first phase towards a referendum which, if the polls are correct, could threaten Maduro’s leadership.

The opposition has been trying to oust the Venezuelan leader for months amid widespread public discontent with Maduro’s government and acute economic problems the country is facing.

The opposition has been collecting signatures in support of a referendum on removing Maduro from office. The first stage of signature gathering has already been completed and the opposition has moved on to the second stage, which requires about 20 percent of voters to give their support to the referendum. If completed, the second stage is followed by the launching of the referendum.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Sunday, Machado said huge numbers of Venezuelan nationals have joined the march in Caracas to call for ousting Maduro.

“This march is an important sign which shows that Venezuelans are ready to face and defeat the regime of dictatorship and proceed towards rebuilding the country,” Machado told Asharq al-Awsat.

Machado went on to say that the opposition has achieved “exceptional results”, noting that the international community has witnessed the huge demonstrations that spread around the country to call for a regime change.

Commenting on the current relations between her government and Iran, Machado said that she has repeatedly condemned some of Venezuelan officials’ relations with extremist terrorist organizations and their opposition to U.N. Security Council resolutions on Iran and North Korea.

“This means that the Venezuelan regime is forging relations with non-democratic systems that are rejected by the international community,” the deputy said.

Machado also said that she has called for launching investigations into suspicious relations between her government and Iran, including the activation of some terrorist cells in Venezuela.

Machado said she was optimistic over the opposition march towards building a democratic state in Venezuela, adding that the international community was now well aware of the real situation under Maduro’s regime.