Tensions over Venezuela won’t escalate into a new Caribbean Crisis or turn the country into “a second Syria,” Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov has assured, bashing the US for treating the Western Hemisphere as its backyard.
“We don’t accept the methods, with which the US is trying to improve the life of the Venezuelan people,” Lavrov said in an interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper.
Washington has outright backed opposition leader, Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president of Venezuela in January. It has introduced hash economic sanctions against the struggling country, preventing it from importing food and medical supplies. Top US officials also threatened with so-called “humanitarian intervention” of Venezuela in order to remove unwanted socialist leader, Nicolas Maduro, from power.
Lavrov pointed out that even those countries on the continent that oppose Maduro and want a snap election in Venezuela got “really stressed out” when the Americans mentioned the use of force.
“I guarantee you that if there’ll be an attempt of a military intervention, the vast majority of Latin American states will outright reject it,” he said.
Despite the strong rhetoric from Washington, “I don’t think that the Caribbean Crisis will be recreated,” Lavrov said, adding that “there can also be no talk about ‘a second Syria’ in Venezuela.”
The top Russian diplomat also stressed that it was “insolent” of the US to treat the Western Hemisphere as its own backyard – one which other countries shouldn’t have access to.
The minister also responded to US National Security Adviser, John Bolton, who commented on reports of 100 Russian troops and cargo landing in Venezuela in late March, by saying that “the US will not tolerate hostile foreign military powers meddling with the Western Hemisphere’s shared goals of democracy, security, and the rule of law.”
Lavrov again clarified that the Russian military hardware was supplied to Venezuela legally under the 2001 military-technical cooperation with then president, Hugo Chavez.
This equipment requires scheduled servicing by Russian specialists and “now the time has come for such maintenance. That’s it,” he said, explaining the arrival of the Russian military specialists.