The president of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, was undaunted by the European Commission’s request and reaffirmed that “a referendum on self-determination for the Sahara must be achieved”. He has assured this in a public appearance in Algiers televised together with the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, on an official visit to that country. Tebboune shows no sign of backing down on his decision to suspend the friendship and trade treaty with Spain, despite the fact that a spokesman for the European Commission calls the measure “extremely worrying”.

Maduro, for his part, congratulated the Algerian president and conveyed to him “the admiration of the Venezuelan people for his firmness in defense of the rights of the Saharawi people.” The Venezuelan is touring oil-producing countries in order to maintain the high level of income that OPEC is reaping and has fully agreed with Tebboune on the Sahara issue, as well as on Palestine and Libya. In the joint appearance neither one nor the other have alluded directly to the Spanish Government, but they have made it implicitly clear that the position defended by Pedro Sánchez that Western Sahara become an autonomous community of Morocco is not acceptable. “The whole world must react in favor of the historical rights of the Saharawi people”, the Venezuelan has come to affirm.

Maduro and Tebboune have agreed on “a powerful economic cooperation agenda,” according to the Venezuelan leader, and the launch of direct flights between Algiers and Caracas.

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