U.S. Commits Worst Attacks Against Venezuela in 200 Years, Says Top Lawmaker

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The recent U.S. administrations have launched the worst attacks against Venezuela in the past two centuries, a top Venezuelan lawmaker said Wednesday.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 212th anniversary of Venezuela’s Declaration of Independence, Jorge Rodriguez, president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, denounced the U.S. sanctions against the South American country as “crimes against humanity.”

Washington has “subjected Venezuela to the worst aggression it has experienced in the last 212 years,” Rodriguez said.

The U.S. sanctions have restricted Venezuelans’ access to essential goods, such as medicine and food, Rodriguez said, stressing that the “criminals” behind the policy should be denounced and held accountable.

Venezuelan Vice Foreign Minister William Castillo also slammed the U.S. sanctions for undermining Venezuela’s development.

The country on Wednesday celebrated the 212th independence anniversary with various political, cultural and military events.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wrote on social media, “We celebrate the loyalty of the people with their principles and history. The decision to be free remains as firm and absolute as it was 212 years ago.”

During the celebration, the emblematic flag-raising occurred early in the morning at the National Pantheon in Caracas, with a speech by the head of the Strategic Operations Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, Domingo Hernandez Larez.

“Every day, the people of Venezuela demonstrate their constant struggle against being lackeys of any country that wants to take advantage of the nobility of this people, which 212 years ago declared its freedom,” he said.

As is traditional, a large-scale civic-military parade was scheduled to take place on the day, also known as Bolivarian National Armed Forces Day.

The country also organized various cultural events for the celebration.