March 10, 2015 / 2:13 AM / 3 years ago

Venezuela's Maduro says U.S. sanctions seek to topple his government

CARACAS (Reuters) - A furious Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday U.S. sanction measures were intended to topple his socialist government.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a meeting with supporters at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, February 19, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

“President Barack Obama, representing the U.S. imperialist elite, has personally decided to take on the task of defeating my government and intervening in Venezuela to control it,” Maduro said in a national TV address.

“That’s why they have taken today’s measure,” the president said in his first reaction to the U.S. sanctions against seven Venezuela officials. The United States also declared that the South American nation represents a national security threat.

Reporting by Corina Pons and Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Paul Tait

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