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Rousseff Rejects Sanctions on Venezuela in Meeting with EU Leaders

06/11/2015 - 09h24

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LEANDRO COLON
SPECIAL ENVOY TO BRUSSELS

President Dilma Rousseff told leaders of European Union (EU) countries that she rejects any type of sanction on Venezuela, in a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (9).

The declaration was part of an official statement of the Brazilian position in relation to an American decree which defined Venezuela as an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to the national security of the United States, and imposed sanctions on the oil-rich country.

"We Latin American and Caribbean nations will not permit unilateral measures aimed at promoting a coup, nor policies aimed at isolation. We know that such measures are counterproductive, ineffective and unjust. As such, we reject the adoption of any kind of sanction against Venezuela," Rousseff said.

She was speaking at meeting of the EU with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), at which representatives of 61 countries were present, including at least 40 heads of state.

CELAC leaders hope to include a statement of support for Venezuela in the meeting's final communique; however, the proposal has met with resistance from their EU counterparts.

Many South American leaders are notable by their absence, including the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, and the Cuban leader Raúl Castro, who sent his vice-president Miguel Díaz-Canel.

In spite of Castro's absence, the reopening of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba is likely to be celebrated in the meeting's final communique. However, it remains unclear what EU policy on Cuba will be, with European leaders debating the issue at the summit.

Rousseff also touched upon Cuba in her speech. "The end of the anachronistic embargo, which has been victimizing the Cuban people for more than five decades, is vital if we are to complete this change," she said.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

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