Venezuelans protest against US sanctions

Updated: 2011-05-26 09:09


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CARACAS - Thousands of Venezuelans on Wednesday gathered in oil facilities of Caracas and other cities to protest against  the US economic sanctions against state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

President Hugo Chavez saluted the protests by writing in his Twitter account: "Congratulations to the workers of PDVSA! From my trench receive a solidary greet and my encouraging word for everybody. Venezuela is respected!"

Meanwhile, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez, during an event to protest against these sanctions in Anzoategui state, said that as a sovereign country, Venezuela is the one who decides who are its friends and not the United States.

"Here we have a brave president, committed with the interest of the people," Ramirez added.

Edmundo Kabachi, an expert on international affairs, said that the the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) must take a strong position as an answer to the US sanctions.

"The United States is in the problem of creating a new international enemy and I think it will be the OPEC," Kabachi told state-run TV channel Venezolana de Television.

He also said that the United States cannot impose its laws on other countries.

"Our country is inside the legality of having trade relations with any nation," he said.

On Tuesday, the US government imposed sanctions on seven foreign companies, including Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and Israeli Ofer Brothers Group, which it said are involved in providing Iran with gasoline and other refined petroleum products.


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