Other countries join Russia in warning against ‘meddling’ in Venezuela affairs

Jan 24, 2019

China, Turkey and Syria have joined Russia in warning the United States against intervention in Venezuela by recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country’s interim president.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro

The four countries issued strong statements declaring support for beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in for a second term earlier this month, while others have disputed his legitimacy as his nation faces a deep economic crisis.

“We warn any country, not just the U.S., but some others that can entertain these ideas from this type of action,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday.

So far more than a dozen other countries have followed the United States in welcoming Guaido, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Spain as well as the Organization of American States.

But Russia’s allies have firmly rejected those supporting 35-year-old Guaido — who swore himself into office Wednesday and declared that Maduro had been deposed — setting the stage for a struggle for Venezuela’s future both within and outside the country.

Ryabkov told CNN that by recognizing Guaido the United States was “meddling.”

“I truly feel that there are dangerous signs of something going on along these lines,” he added.

“I mean it’s just pouring gas on fire.

“The resort to military power would be catastrophic. … It would be another huge blow to the international system. We face a scenario that may lead to further bloodshed in Venezuela.”

In December, signs pointed to Russia and Venezuela deepening ties as the Kremlin extended a lifeline to the cash-stripped country by agreeing to restructure $3.15 billion of debt payments that it owes Moscow. Venezuela also owes debts to China, oil service providers, airlines and a slew of other entities.

During a conference call with reporters Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that Russia considered the interference “to usurp power in Venezuela to be illegal and contrary to international law.”

Maduro hit back at Trump’s announcement by cutting ties with the United States and ordering all American diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours, but the White House dismissed the order as “meaningless.”

Credit: CNN, https://edition.cnn.com

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