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Russia Warns US Intervention In Venezuela Would Have "Catastrophic Consequences"

Published: January 24, 2019
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Source: ZeroHedge

Russia has dismissed the political crisis engulfing Venezuela as an attempted coup while expressing concern over the role of external states and the potential for foreign military intervention, calling Juan Guaido's move to declare himself president illegal.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday, “We are very concerned by statements that don’t rule out some kind of external intervention,” as cited by Bloomberg“We consider such intervention unacceptable,” Peskov added while describing the internal unrest spilling into the streets after the catalyst of Monday's failed military revolt of 27 officers in an opposition neighborhood of Caracas an “attempt to usurp power”.

Prior meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on December 5, 2018. Image source: AFP

This follows President Trump's declaration that the US would only recognize the unelected head of the opposition-held National Assembly as "the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela." A senior Trump administration official followed by saying “all options are on the table”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said further in website statement that Washington's joining a growing list of about a dozen other countries to recognize Guaido “is aimed at deepening the split in Venezuelan society, increasing the conflict on the streets, sharply destabilizing the internal political system and further escalation of the conflict.” And in words eerily similar to the brief international exchange of words over prior US action in places like Libya and Syria the ministry said that external armed intervention would be “fraught with catastrophic consequences.”

The foreign ministry further described that the situation “has reached a dangerous point” and called on the international community to engage in diplomacy and mediation between the Maduro government and opposition. 

And separately, a senior Russian official on Thursday warned the Trump administration against what he called the "catastrophic scenario"of military intervention in the region. "We warn against this," Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said in an interview with International Affairs magazine, as cited in USA Today. "We believe that this would be a catastrophic scenario that would shake the foundations of the development model we see in the Latin American region."

Wednesday clashes with police, image via Rafael Hernández

In early December of last year President Nicholas Maduro visited Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin at a time when tensions with both countries and Washington were soaring. The leaders discussed Russia's offering to throw cash-strapped Venezuela a multi-billion dollar life-line despite Caracas in the past being unable to pay its debts.  During that trip, Maduro had called Russia a “brother country” with which Venezuela had “raised the flag for the creation of a multipolar and multicentric world.”

This meeting was followed by Russia briefly deploying two nuclear-capable "Blackjack" bombers to Venezuela as part of a joint training exercise meant to underscore the two countries' growing military relations. 

Meanwhile Russia is not the only country to express fear of external meddling and an "illegal" coup attempt, but predictably Syria, Turkey, and China have also declared intentions to stick by Maduro while voicing that the Venezuelan people alone should decide their fate. 

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President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela officially cut off diplomatic ties with the U.S. government on Wednesday—and gave American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country—in response to President Donald Trump declaring formal recognition of an opposition lawmaker as the “Interim President” of Venezuela, despite not being elected by the nation’s people for that position.

The US President’s decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido as the county’s “interim president” may set off a “possible civil war” in the oil-rich nation, WikiLeaks has warned.

President Donald Trump officially recognized Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president on Wednesday after Guaidó declared himself the country's leader amid cheers from thousands who were protesting in the streets of the capital, Caracas.

It appears the White House is ready to stoke the flames of anti-Maduro unrest following Monday's dramatic failed military revolt launched by 27 low-ranking officers and their subsequent arrests in the Cotiza neighborhood of Caracas, which sparked overnight protests and sporadic clashes with police after opposition leader Juan Guaido made a broad appeal to the military in a speech, urging them to demand Maduro step down. Guaido and other opposition leaders in the National Assembly have declared Wednesday a nation-wide protest day seeking to topple the regime — itself a historic date commemorating the end of Venezuela's military dictatorship in 1958.

Venezuelan intelligence agents have released opposition leader and congress chief Juan Guaido after briefly detaining him on the way to a political rally, a congressional official said on Sunday.

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