Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez speaks during a press conference in Havana, Cuba, Feb. 19, 2019. Bruno Rodriguez has warned that Washington is planning a military intervention in Venezuela on the pretext of delivering humanitarian aid. Rodriguez said that Washington is following a "script" that "has been previously used in other parts of the world, with severe consequences," repeating recent warnings by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel of the "economic, military, social and humanitarian consequences of a U.S. military venture" and its destabilizing effect on all of Latin America. (Xinhua/Joaquin Hernandez)
HAVANA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has warned that Washington is planning a military intervention in Venezuela on the pretext of delivering humanitarian aid.
Rodriguez said that Washington is following a "script" that "has been previously used in other parts of the world, with severe consequences," repeating recent warnings by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel of the "economic, military, social and humanitarian consequences of a U.S. military venture" and its destabilizing effect on all of Latin America.
"Cuba calls on the international community to overcome political differences to act in defense of peace and prevent a military intervention in Venezuela," he added.
On Friday, billionaire Richard Branson announced an aid concert in Colombia to benefit Venezuelans in Cucuta, a Colombian border city with Venezuela. It is scheduled for Feb. 23 in the context of other demonstrations organized by the Venezuelan opposition in the country.
The power struggle between Venezuela's ruling socialist party and opposition groups deepened last month after Juan Guaido, who is also the head of the National Assembly, proclaimed himself "interim president."
Immediately recognized by the White House and its allies, Guaido announced that the opposition will bring the U.S. aid into Venezuela via Cucuta by land on Feb. 23, despite the government's blockade.
The border crossing has turned into a potential flashpoint as the Venezuelan opposition, with the support of Washington, steps up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro's government to renounce power.
Venezuela's Minister of Culture Ernesto Villegas referred to the concert as an attempt to "varnish with culture the shameful act of war," saying it is intended to put pressure on the Venezuelan government so that so-called "humanitarian aid" sent by the United States can enter Venezuela.
Denying the existence of a humanitarian crisis, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the aid operation a U.S.-orchestrated show leading to an eventual invasion into the oil-rich country, and promoted a rival concert on its side of the border for Feb. 22-23.
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump gave a speech to the Venezuelan American community in Miami, Florida, in which he lambasted Venezuela's socialist government and said the days of leftist governments in the Western Hemisphere, including Nicaragua and Cuba, are coming to an end.
Cuba rejected those statements earlier on Tuesday. Trump was "ill-advised" on Cuba, Venezuela and Latin America, said Johana Tablada, deputy director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry's department for U.S. affairs.
Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez also dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump's speech on the South American country as "arrogant and rude."
Trump "completely disregards the eminently Bolivarian (revolutionary), anti-imperialist and professional character of our institution," Padrino said in a statement issued on behalf of the superior chief of staff of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB).
Trump is using "hybrid warfare" against Venezuela, "strangling the economy by imposing an economic and financial blockade, with which he plans to generate ungovernability, chaos and anarchy," Padrino said.
"Coercion, blackmail, manipulation, sanctions and amnesty," however, will not lead the military to violate the Constitution by abandoning Maduro's democratically elected government, he added.
Venezuela's military is aware that the true goal of the United States is to gain control over the South American country's vast oil reserves and gold deposits, Padrino said, adding that "The country is calm, institutions are functioning, people are working, and the government is leading."