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Russia Has a Warning for US About Venezuela

Military intervention would lead to 'catastrophic situation,' official says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2019 12:24 PM CST
Venezuelans protest in support of Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-run congress, after he proclaimed himself the country's interim president, in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

(Newser) – After the US rejected Nicolas Maduro's demand that all American diplomats leave Venezuela, China—a Maduro ally—warned the US against getting involved in the country's crisis. Now another Maduro supporter has done the same: US military intervention in Venezuela would lead to a "catastrophic scenario" in the region, Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, told a Russian media outlet, as reported by USA Today. "We warn against this," Ryabkov said. "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." The US has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, and the Trump administration has vowed to use "all options" to push Maduro to give up power, though it has emphasized economic sanctions.

Ryabkov, who called the US recognition of Guaido "meddling" and "pouring gas on fire," issued a similar warning in another interview with CNN, noting it applied not just to the US but to any country considering intervention; more than a dozen other nations also recognize Guaido, including the UK, Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, and Spain. But in addition to China and Russia, Turkey, Cuba, and Syria support Maduro; in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad's government condemned "blatant interference" by the US, "which constitutes a flagrant violation of all the international norms and laws and a brazen attack against the Venezuelan sovereignty." And both Cuba and Turkey issued statements decrying any "coup" attempts, with Cuba accusing the US of attempting to "impose ... a puppet government." (Read more Venezuela stories.)

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