Russia’s president pledged his support for the elected government of Venezuela during a phone call with President Nicolas Maduro. He also criticized the “destructive external meddling” to which the country has been exposed.
The Russian president has expressed his support to the legitimate authorities of Venezuela in this time of political crisis which he said was caused by a “destructive external interference that grossly violates the most basic norms of the international law.”
Putin and Maduro also agreed to continue cooperation between the countries “in various fields.”
While Venezuela's political crisis has been ongoing for months, it has deepened this year following the US’ decision not to recognize the results of the last elections which led to Maduro entering his second six-year term.
On Wednesday US-backed, Juan Guaido, the opposition leader who is currently the President of the National Assembly, swore an oath and declared himself interim president as thousands took to the streets calling for Maduro to leave office.
US President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Guaido as the “interim president,” minutes after the latter swore himself in. While US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Maduro to step down and called on the country’s military to support efforts to restore “democracy”.
Elsewhere in the Americas, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru all followed suit within two hours of the US move. They were backed by the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as Canada.
France and Britain joined the chorus on Thursday. London claimed that Maduro is “not a legitimate leader” of Venezuela while Paris said that Maduro’s election was “illegal” and “Europe supports the restoration of democracy.”
Venezuela has endured a prolonged period of economic instability and hyperinflation, worsened by the gradually mounting external pressure. Maduro’s opponents blame the crisis on the socialist government, which, for its part, claims that the dissent is deliberately stirred up by the US and other foreign powers.
The US has greatly expanded its economic sanctions against the oil-rich country, proclaiming “support” towards Venezuelan people at the same time. Said sanctions, however, have mainly hit the country’s citizens, many analysts argue.