Moscow, Jan 29 : Attempts to destabilize the situation in Venezuela are coming from neighboring Colombia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday, commenting on notes about troop deployment to the northwestern Latin American country seen on US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s notebook.
During a Monday briefing concerning new sanctions against Venezuela, including its state-owned oil and gas company PDVSA, Bolton was photographed holding a yellow notepad that read: "5,000 troops to Colombia." NBC News later reported, citing three defense officials, that no US troops were heading to Colombia or Venezuela.
Commenting on Bolton’s notes, Zakharova recalled that many US officials — from President Donald Trump to representatives of his administration — hinted, "with varying degrees of impudence," about the possibility of US military intervention in Venezuela. According to the spokeswoman, many attempts to meddle in Venezuelan internal affairs, meanwhile, originate from Colombia.
"Let me recall that the ‘return of democracy’ to Venezuela or, calling things by their true names, the destabilization of the situation in this country is being carried out from the territory of Colombia. And what about non-interference in internal affairs — from elections to cybersecurity, which have been subject of such concern for the collective West over recent years — you will ask?" Zakharova wrote on Facebook.
Referring to NBC News reports, Zakharova said that "we are not losing hope" to hear Washington’s official comments.
On January 23, the speaker of the opposition-led Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, declared himself interim head of state amid ongoing anti-government protests. The United States and a number of other countries, which disputed last year’s re-election of President Nicolas Maduro, have recognized the opposition leader. Maduro slammed Guaido as a US "puppet" and accused Washington, which has stated that it has all options on the table to respond to the crisis, of organizing a coup in Venezuela.
Russia, Mexico, and Uruguay, were among those that voiced their support for Maduro as the country's only legitimate president and expressed readiness to act as mediators in the conflict between the government and the opposition. SPUTNIK