(CNSNews.com) – Claiming that the Maduro regime has put down a U.S.-backed “coup” attempt, Venezuela’s U.N. ambassador on Tuesday lashed out at Trump administration officials, accusing them of spreading provocative disinformation and of “gangster-like” behavior.
Ambassador Samuel Moncada also had a label for President Trump himself – “the self-proclaimed president of the whole world.”
He described the Venezuelan opposition led by Juan Guaido as a “psychopathic” and “warmongering” elite, and said Guaido was guilty of sedition and treason – although he added that bringing charges was for the relevant authorities to decide.
Speaking to reporters in New York, Moncada claimed that normality has been restored in Venezuela, and that Nicolás Maduro’s government “has defeated” Guaido’s attempt to provoke a military uprising.
He accused foreign powers, including the U.S. and a number of Guaido-supporting Latin American countries, of trying to “spark a civil war,” justify military intervention, and “impose a puppet government.”
In the U.S. he singled out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), an outspoken critic of Maduro and his Cuban allies.
He said they and others, “in an interventionist and criminal manner, made public calls for the Venezuelan military forces to disobey their legitimate commanders and thereby promote national chaos.”
Moncada also derisively cited comments made by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in support of freedom in Venezuela, calling Trump “the self-proclaimed president of the whole world,” and the “self-proclaimed president of Venezuela.”
No Venezuelan could believe that these U.S. leaders “are the liberators of anything,” he said.
The U.S. rejected last year’s re-election of Maduro as illegitimate, and subsequently recognized Guaido, the head of the National Assembly, as interim president pending new elections. More than 50 other countries have also done so.
Guaido early Tuesday sought to bring the drawn-out political crisis to a head, appearing in a video clip with another leading opposition figure, Leopoldo Lopez – who had been under house arrest – and a group of soldiers. He called on citizens and the armed forces to rise up against the socialist regime.
Through the day opposition supporters and military personnel clashed in various parts of the capital.
Bolton told reporters outside the White House that three key regime officials – the defense minister, head of the presidential guard, and supreme court president – had all agreed Maduro should go, and called on them to make good on their commitments in the hours ahead.
On Twitter later, Bolton called the trio out by name again, referring again to their purported roles in “planning today’s move for democracy in Venezuela,” urging them to do what is right, and warning that they would be held accountable for Venezuelans injured during the day’s clashes.
Moncada dismissed Bolton’s claims about the three top officials as “propaganda” and attempted “information warfare” designed to confuse the Venezuelan people.
The three officials concerned are among numerous regime loyalists targeted for U.S. sanctions.
On Tuesday the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement responding to the day’s developments that the path to sanctions relief for regime-aligned officials “is to change behavior by supporting Venezuela’s democratically elected leader and those who seek to restore democracy.”
Responding on behalf of the regime, Moncada said the “gangster-like” administration was using the issue of sanctions as “bait” to pressurize officials to “join the coup.”
“This is a criminal use of sanctions,” he said. “These are not sanctions for freedom. These are sanctions for coup and violence.”