The country’s Foreign Ministry urged not to politicize the Olympic movement.

The Venezuelan authorities called the initiative of the United States and a number of other countries to diplomatically boycott the Olympic Games in Beijing desperate and urged not to politicize the Olympic movement. The corresponding statement was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic.

“This desperate but disturbing act, which is part of a campaign of slander and manipulation by a small group of countries, <…> demonstrates the anachronistic position of their governments, which still adhere to the vision of the Cold War,” the document says. “Venezuela demands to stop the politicization of sports and calls on all countries to protect the sporting spirit that should reign during competitions, in accordance with the principles and values set out in the Olympic Charter.”

On December 6, the United States announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which implies the refusal of officials to travel to China. At the same time, a team of athletes will take part in the Games. Washington has notified its allies of the plans, while Australia, Great Britain, and Canada have officially supported the U.S. initiative. In response, China called such a decision a political manipulation contrary to the Olympic Charter and promised to take countermeasures.

The XXIV Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing from February 4 to 20, 2022. The capital of the People’s Republic of China was chosen as the venue for its holding at the IOC session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015.