MOSCOW – 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 Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was concerned about “threats from the U.S. that are actively supported … by Venezuela’s opposition, essentially inviting foreign intervention.”
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 U.S. invasion.
U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to rule out military action, warning the Venezuelan military that they will “lose everything.”
Lavrov said U.S. threats are “unquestionably a violation of the U.N. 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 tons 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.