A NEW SYRIA: As Russia Declares Support for Maduro, Washington Back’s Venezuela’s Right-Wing Opposition

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MOSCOW, Russia – Commenting on the situation in Venezuela, Russia’s foreign minister said that Moscow insists on non-intervention of foreign countries in the internal affairs of sovereign states.

“Our position is that it is necessary to avoid any intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states,” the minister said during his annual press conference.

Lavrov recalled that Russia has long supported attempts to reestablish dialogue between the government and Venezuela’s opposition, but the conflict has not been resolved because “foreign countries, especially the United States, have influenced the most uncompromising part of the opposition.”

“In fact, this influence has made this part of the opposition uncompromising. This is very regrettable,” he said.

“We also hear statements about the possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela, statements that the US would not recognize the president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro, but the president of the parliament. The collapse of undesirable governments remains a top priority for the US,” Lavrov said.

The Russian minister said that the United States continues to impose its will on the international community using force.

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“Last year the potential for conflict increased, in the first place, owing to the persistent reluctance of some US-led Western countries to accept the realities of the multipolar world that is developing and the aspiration to continue to impose their will through levers of force, economy and propaganda,” explained the diplomat.

The Venezuelan parliament, the National Assembly, which is controlled by the opposition, on Tuesday approved a motion that classifies the head of state, Nicolás Maduro, as usurper. This motion means that all actions and decisions of the executive branch are declared null and void. In addition, the parliament called on the international community to freeze Venezuelan bank accounts abroad.

Earlier, the White House reported that US Vice President Mike Pence made a call to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó to voice US support.

On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke with Mr. Guaidó on the phone to recognize “his courageous leadership” and to “express the United States’ resolute support for the National Assembly of Venezuela as the only legitimate democratic body in the country,” according to a statement from the office of the vice president.

Earlier, on Twitter, Mr. Pence said the United States “strongly supports the courageous decision by Juan Guaidó” to “declare the country’s presidency vacant.”

Mr. Guaidó has also received support from Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, who called him the country’s “interim president.”

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