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1ST LEAD Venezuela lodges complaint with EU ambassadors over sanctions By Nestor Rojas, dpa

Europe
14.11.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Caracas (dpa)- Venezuela on Tuesday lodged a complaint with European Union ambassadors over sanctions imposed on the South American country, accusing the EU of interfering in its internal affairs.

The EU was following the lead of US President Donald Trump, who had threatened Venezuela with military action, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said after meeting the ambassadors of Austria, Poland, Germany, Spain, Romania, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Portugal, Britain and Greece.

Venezuela would adopt "concrete responses" to measures against it, Arreaza said in Caracas.

EU foreign ministers on Monday adopted targeted sanctions against Venezuela, including an arms embargo, citing growing "political polarization" in the country where more than 120 people have been killed in protests since April.

The opposition meanwhile said it would consult different social sectors about whether it should relaunch a dialogue with the government.

The opposition and the government had been due to hold talks in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, but it looked likely that the meeting would be postponed.

There had been doubts about whether the government would allow international mediators to participate in the dialogue.

The opposition accuses President Nicolas Maduro of acting like a dictator while a drop in oil prices has contributed to a galloping shortage of basic goods in the country, which has the world‘s largest proven oil reserves. Inflation is expected to reach 1,000 per cent this year.

The ratings agency Standard & Poor‘s meanwhile downgraded Venezuela‘s sovereign credit rating to "selective default" after it missed a deadline for a 200-million-dollar bond payment.

The agency assessed the chances of Venezuela defaulting again within a three-month grace period at 50 per cent, which would result in a "default" rating.

A meeting between Venezuela and its creditors on Monday ended without an agreement to restructure part of the country‘s debt, which is estimated to stand between 150 and 180 billion dollars.

 

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