“I will never submit. I will never surrender” Maduro breaks ties with Colombia
Nicolas Maduro says he’ll never surrender and has vowed to defend Venezuela’s independence with his life if necessary.
A defiant Maduro spoke Saturday in Caracas before thousands of cheering supporters dressed in red shirts, the color of Venezuela’s socialist party. He took the stage dancing with his wife.
A month ago, Juan Guaidó declared presidential powers and promised to overthrow Maduro, holding new elections to restore democracy.
However, Maduro says he fears nothing.
He called Guaidó a puppet of the White House, which he says seeks to colonize Venezuela and exploit its oil. He mocked the interim president, asking why he hadn’t yet called an election if he truly holds power.
Maduro claimed “a small group of dummies” who “can’t think by themselves” are letting U.S. President Donald Trump call the shots, but the Venezuelan people won’t allow it.
“It’s time for our people to tell Donald Trump, ‘Donald Trump, Yankee, go home, Donald Trump.’”
Maduro also announced he’s breaking all diplomatic ties with neighboring Colombia amid deepening political turmoil.
On Saturday, Guaidó launched an effort to bring international humanitarian aid into Venezuela from across the border in Cucúta, Colombia. Maduro denies a humanitarian crisis exists.
Guaidó made public appearances throughout the day alongside Colombia’s President Ivan Duque, an outspoken critic of Maduro and close U.S. ally.
Maduro asked for the blessing of a mass of loyal supporters in Caracas.
He then ordered Colombia’s diplomats out of the country within the next 24 hours.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.