Venezuela ‘ready for battle’ if Trump imposes blockade – Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said his country was “prepared for battle” if the US imposes a quarantine, and said his envoy to the UN would denounce the “illegal” threat before the Security Council.

“We are all prepared for battle if anyone tries to impose a quarantine or blockade on Venezuela,” Maduro said, speaking at an event in the state of La Guaira on Friday afternoon, adding that the threat only shows the “desperation and irritation” of the US government.

"Not in Venezuela! is my message to criminal imperialism," Maduro said.

He was responding to a remark by US President Donald Trump from Thursday, when he told reporters outside the White House he was considering a blockade of Venezuela due to “foreign involvement” of Russia, China and Iran.

“Yes, I am,” Trump said, repeating it several times before boarding a helicopter.

Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s ambassador to the UN, has been instructed to denounce the threat to the Security Council, Maduro said, vowing that Venezuela will remain “free and independent” despite US pressure.

Claiming it sought to “restore democracy” in Venezuela, the US recognized opposition politician Juan Guaido as “interim president” in January and demanded Maduro’s resignation. Guaido’s repeated attempts to install himself in the presidential palace have failed, however, culminating in the April 30 military uprising that ended in total fiasco.

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