Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:8AM
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez of joining a plot aimed at overthrowing his government.

On Tuesday, Maduro said the former Spanish premier who served from 1982 to 1996, had joined a group of ultraconservatives in Spain, Colombia, and the United States to stage a coup against the government in Caracas.

"Now they've got Felipe Gonzalez, who has just signed on openly -- bringing in a great big salary in euros -- to the campaign against Venezuela, to support a coup in Venezuela, the coup against me," the Venezuelan president said in his weekly address on state media.

Earlier this week, reports said Gonzalez, a lawyer by training, would represent a number of imprisoned members of Venezuelan opposition.

Former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez

 

This comes shortly after US President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials for allegedly violating the human rights of opposition figures, and called the country a national security threat.

Under Obama’s order, the US property and bank accounts of the Venezuelan officials, including former national guard chief Antonio Benavides, intelligence chief Gustavo Gonzales and national police chief Manuel Perez, will be frozen and they will be denied US visas.

Caracas has slammed the move by Washington, once again accusing it of meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

SZH/NN/HRB