“We have collected more than 5 million signatures and we want to call on the Venezuelan people to keep on going to reach 10 million,” Jorge Rodriguez, mayor of Caracas and coordinator of the initiative told Venezolana de Television.
For the past week plazas, government offices and buildings opened their doors seeking to collect some 10 million signatures against Washington’s policy towards the Latin American country.
“Our intention is to deliver the collected signatures to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, as clear evidence that the people of Venezuela reject the crude interference in our internal affairs,” Rodriguez added.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has set a goal of collecting at least 10 million signatures – about a third of the country’s total population – ahead of the Summit of the Americas taking place April 10-11 in Panama, also called on people to continue their support.
“Let us continue supporting the fatherland. Signatures are being collected at public squares and door-to-door. We have reached 5 million and we will collect 10 million,”Maduro said on Twitter.
Earlier this month, Obama issued an executive order to impose further sanctions against Venezuela and declared the country an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security.” The sanctions target seven individuals accused by Washington of alleged human rights violations and “public corruption.”
In response, the Venezuelan lawmakers granted Maduro a right to rule by decree till the end of the year to defend the country’s integrity and sovereignty against “imperialist threats” from the US government.
Maduro’s crusade against US interference in his country’s affairs has received wide support across the Latin American region. The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, joined the campaign launched by the Venezuelan government and signed a petition which said that “Venezuela is not a threat.”
“This is not about being for or against a government, it is to ensure respect for international law,”Correa said last week. “We are collecting million signatures to tell Obama that’s enough, Latin America has already changed.”