China responded Monday to recent criticism by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said that the country’s role in Venezuela was only contributing to a prolonged crisis there.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang stressed during a briefing that Pompeo’s accusations “deliberately drove a wedge” between China and Latin America and called them “unfounded.”
“For a long time, the United States has regarded Latin America as its own backyard to pressure, threaten and even subvert political power in other countries at every turn,” Lu said and added that “some American politicians have been harping on one string” in order to “smear China across the world.”
Last Friday, Pompeo accused Beijing of prolonging the crisis in Venezuela by financing the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. He further claimed that China had invested over $60 billion of “no strings attached” funds that were used for actions such as crushing pro-democracy activists and bankrolling ineffective social programs, ABC News writes.
“I think there’s a lesson, a lesson to be learned for all of us: China and others are being hypocritical calling for non-intervention in Venezuela’s affairs. Their own financial interventions have helped destroy that country,” Pompeo said.
Over the last few years about 3 million Venezuelans, approximately one in ten, have fled the country as a result of hyperinflation, shortages of food and medicine.
The Trump administration recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president, while China remains loyal to Maduro and has urged other countries to not intervene in Venezuela’s affairs.