CARACAS -- Venezuela accused the United States on Monday of “psychological terrorism” designed to bring down the government after it was included in a list of eight countries targeted by a travel ban.
“As if it mattered to us to have a visa for the United States. I only go to the United States if I have to go to the UN, to the OAS,” President Nicolas Maduro said, referring to the Organization of American States.
Speaking at a meeting with governors broadcast by state television VTV, Maduro said US President Donald Trump has “isolated the United States” with his speech at the United Nations General Assembly last week, in which he called the Venezuelan leader a “dictator.”
He was speaking a day after Venezuela was added to a new list of countries targeted by the US ban, due to what it called poor security and a lack of cooperation with American authorities.
The restrictions on Venezuela were limited to officials from a list of government agencies and their families, while full travel bans were placed on nationals from the other seven countries, including Chad and North Korea.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza described Trump as acting like “the world’s emperor.”
Amid an escalating war of words, Arreaza told the UN General Assembly that Venezuela would seek dialogue with Washington to “stop the madness and irrationality.”
Last week, he accused Trump of being “racist and supremacist” after the US leader told the annual UN gathering that the US was ready to act to restore Venezuela’s democracy.
“As a free people, we are ready to defend our sovereignty, our independence and our democracy in any scenario and in any way,” Arreaza said.
In a short statement to reporters following his speech, he added: “I insist, if they attack us on the ground, we will respond forcefully in the defense of our country and of our people.”