Russia warns Venezuela’s Guaido against ‘inviting foreign intervention’

Published February 21, 2019, 10:13 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Agence France-Presse

Moscow on Wednesday warned Venezuela’s self-declared interim president Juan Guaido against “inviting foreign intervention” by using aid shipments as “cover,” and called for dialogue between the government and opposition.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was concerned about “threats from the US that are actively supported… by Venezuela’s opposition, essentially inviting foreign intervention.”

Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov made the comments on the sidelines of an economic forum in the far-eastern Russian city of Vladivostok (AFP Photo/Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV/MANILA BULLETIN)
Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov

He said that “whether direct or under cover of humanitarian aid,” such an intervention is “unlikely to bring the result (Guaido) seeks.”

Venezuela’s military, which is backing President Nicolas Maduro, said it was on alert after Guaido vowed to bring aid into the struggling country, which Maduro slammed as a smokescreen for a US invasion.

US President Donald Trump has refused to rule out military action, warning the Venezuelan military that they will “lose everything.”

Lavrov said US threats are “unquestionably a violation of the UN charter and direct meddling in domestic affairs of an independent country.”

He said he hoped that Guaido “would respond to initiatives that suggest inclusive dialogue between all of Venezuela’s political forces.”

“Results can only come from inclusive political dialogue,” he said.

Shipments of food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering in the country’s economic crisis have become a focus of the power struggle between Maduro and Guaido.

Maduro had said that 300 tonnes of Russian aid would reach Venezuela on Wednesday. He also announced arrival of goods from his other allies China and Cuba.

Russian state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Wednesday quoted Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez as saying that the aid has arrived in the country.

“We are thankful to Russia for shipments of medical equipment which has arrived in Venezuela,” she said in an interview to the paper.