Russia has blasted the U.S. government’s attempts to bully the government of Venezuela, whose President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in last week amid a blitz of negative press and diplomatic efforts aiming to isolate the South American nation.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov decried the “the stubborn unwillingness of some Western countries led by the United States to accept the realities of the objectively developing multipolar world, as well as because of their desire to continue to force their will on others by means of pressure and economic and propaganda instruments,” according to an official transcript.
Stressing Russia’s respect for the internal political processes within sovereign nations, Lavrov noted that Russia has long sought to assist the Venezuelan people’s attempts to arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution to the long crisis the country has experienced as a result of the U.S.-imposed economic war on the country, including sanctions on its leading officials. These attempts to establish a dialogue between the government and opposition came to naught due to the intransigence of an opposition egged-on by the United States and other foreign powers.
The top Russian diplomat explained:
“We know that this dialogue, which many Latin American countries counted on, eventually fell apart because the so-called irreconcilable part of the opposition was influenced from abroad, mainly by the United States … It is deeply regrettable.”
Earlier this month, a dozen Latin American countries along with Canada who belong to the so-called “Lima Group” issued a joint statement demanding that the elected president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, cede power to the opposition-dominated National Assembly until new elections are held.
Mexico, the Latin American powerhouse now led by leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, notably abstained from the vote.
Since Maduro took office, the United States – with its junior partners in tow – has mulled recognizing National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido as “interim president” of the country. The opposition-controlled assembly has branded Maduro a “usurper” while Guaido has openly called for military and civilian bodies to topple the government and its ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
The National Assembly, while still nominally an important federal lawmaking body, has largely lost its potency since coming under opposition control. Members of the country’s beleaguered opposition have repeatedly issued calls for the military to topple the presidency, to no avail, while its leaders have met with officials in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has ratcheted up Washington’s anti-Venezuelan rhetoric since assuming office in 2017.
“We have heard statements that allow for a military intervention in Venezuela, and statements that the United States will recognize or may begin to recognize President of the National Assembly Juan Guaido as the legitimate President of Venezuela rather than Nicolas Maduro,” Minister Lavrov noted.
“All this is very disturbing and indicates that the United States continues to break down unfavorable governments as its priority strategy in Latin America and other regions.”
Since 2009, the U.S. State Department has allocated tens of millions of dollars toward ousting the anti-imperialist government in Caracas, while sanctions have bled the country of over $6 billion since August 2017, according to analyst Joe Emersberger.
The U.S. has long identified Venezuela as its main adversary in the Western Hemisphere, according to a strategic document from 2007 leaked by former CIA operative and whistleblower Edward Snowden.