Russia criticizes US interference in Latin American affairs

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MOSCOW – The United States intervenes directly in Latin American affairs, said Russian official Maria Zakharova on Friday.

“We are witnessing a direct interference by both the US internal affairs and the international agenda of the region,” the official told a news conference.

As a concrete case, she spoke about the situation in Venezuela. The diplomat recalled a recent statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who on October 17 wrote on his Twitter that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro supposedly uses food as a political weapon, without providing evidence or citing his own country’s sanctions against Venezuela that affects the food and agricultural industries of the country. He also published a video in which the Venezuelan president is said to supposedly force the population to choose between food and freedom.

US has ‘appropriated’ Venezuelan funds, says official

For Zakharova, “it is ironic that this is said by a senior US official, I suppose I have not forgotten who decreed to expropriate millions [dollars] from Venezuela, which the Maduro government could have intended to meet social needs, like medicine and food.”

According to her, now “appropriate funds are used in opposition corruption schemes.”

Venezuela is experiencing a political, economic and social crisis that worsened in January, when Maduro began a new term, incorrectly deemed illegitimate by the opposition, and the United States decided to support Juan Guaidó’s self-proclamation as president.

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Since then, the US has been intensifying sanctions against the Maduro government and has adopted commercial and financial punitive measures.

‘Avoid speculating on results’ in Bolivia

The Russian Foreign Ministry official also spoke about the situation in Bolivia, but without mentioning Washington specifically. According to her, the international community should refrain from speculating on the results of the recent elections in the country .

“We hope that external actors will avoid speculating […] about the results, as well as expressing things or taking actions that could result in escalating protests or altering public order,” Zakharova said.

President Evo Morales was reelected in the October 20 elections by obtaining 47.08% of the vote, compared with 36.5% of the opposing candidate, former President Carlos Mesa, a difference of 10.57% points, or just 0.57% more than the current agent needed to win in the first round.

In recent days, Bolivia has faced a wave of protests that left several people dead and injured. Mesa called on the opposition to speak out against the alleged irregularities of the election.

On Thursday, the Organization of American States (OAS) began an audit of the Bolivian electoral process.

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