Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, wearing a Conviasa national airlines uniform, attends a rally against US sanctions on the flagship airline on Feb. 10, 2020 (Photo by AFP)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he will file a lawsuit against the US government over the economic damages it caused to his country through its unilateral sanctions against Venezuelaís flagship airline Conviasa.
Addressing a rally against recent US sanctions against Venezuelaís state airline company, Maduro said, "we should immediately prepare an international lawsuit before the court of justice against the United States government for the damage that is intended to be done to the Conviasa company and to national companies of Venezuela."
"A global lawsuit against the policy of aggression and sanctions of coercive measures. Venezuela will seek justice in international courts," he added.
"We will seek international justice with a lawsuit against the government of Donald Trump. I have ordered this and I ask for all the support from the national general public, all the support for this international claim," Maduro noted, while being applauded by the crowd.
He also took a swipe at Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido, and said, "We have to point a finger at the person responsible for these sanctions. His name is Juan Guaido, he is directly responsible for these sanctions."
His comments came after the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the airline, claiming it is being used to transfer corrupt officials around the world.
The US has already imposed several rounds of sanctions against the oil-rich South American country. Washington has for long been trying to oust Maduro and replace him with Guaido, who declared himself interim president last year.
In his speech, Maduro said the new sanctions have been motivated by Guaidoís "famous tours".
"These are the consequences of those tours because there are now a group of unemployed Venezuelans and we have Venezuelaís flagship carrier unable to fly due to those sanctions," he said.
"How do those sanctions help the people? If he (Guaido) wanted to damage Chavista [Chavezism] followers the people who travel are not really Chavista followers but the opposition who use the airline and so who was the punishment for? For the people, not for the government and for Maduro. The punishment is for the people.íí
Conviasa has faced years of upheaval as Venezuelaís economy collapses. It was banned in 2012 from flying to the European Union on safety grounds and in 2017 all international flights were temporarily suspended as it lacked foreign currency to buy insurance.
Conviasa mostly flies domestic routes but according to its website, it also flies to Bolivia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. It recently announced it would start flying to Damascus in March.
SOURCE: PRESS TV