The United States urged Russia to leave Venezuela on Sunday, while Moscow urged Washington to cease its “irresponsible plans,” in a new verbal clash between the two powers over the crisis-ridden oil country, after the failed uprising on Tuesday against President Nicolás Maduro by some thirty soldiers backed by the opposition Juan Guaidó, recognized as interim president by more than 50 countries.
In Caracas, the number two of chavismo, Diosdado Cabello, increased the pressure by announcing on Sunday that the Constituent Assembly of Venezuela, the presiding institution that governs the country with absolute powers, is preparing to suspend the parliamentary immunity to opposition legislators who supported the revolt.
Several legislators of the National Assembly, the only Venezuela institution in the hands of the opposition, backed Guaidó, -president of that power-, who deemed the uprising as the beginning of the so-called “freedom operation” to remove Maduro from power.
A day after new mobilizations of the opposition in the Venezuelan capital, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, launched on Sunday on ABC: “The Russians must leave.”
The objective is very clear: We want the Iranians, the Russians and the Cubans to leave,”
However, President Donald Trump had affirmed on Friday that Vladimir Putin “did not seek to get involved in Venezuela beyond seeing a positive development,” after a long telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart.
I have not seen the full context of this phrase,”
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergéi Lavrov attacked Washington.
We call on Americans, and all those who support them, to abandon their irresponsible plans and to act exclusively within the framework of international law,”
said Lavrov at the beginning of a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart, Jorge Arreaza.
On Saturday, Guaidó acknowledged in an interview with the Washington Post newspaper that the uprising fell short, referring to the events on Tuesday.
Maybe because we still need more soldiers, and maybe we need more government officials willing to support, to back the constitution,”
The failed uprising sparked two days of violent clashes between security forces and protesters that left four dead, dozens injured and 150 arrested.
The opposition leader has tried to keep mass protests on the streets, but his last call on Saturday only attracted a few hundred people.
Maduro, meanwhile, appeared in a military exercise on Saturday with Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, who according to senior US officials would have been involved in the breakout on Tuesday.
I trust you, but keep your eyes open, a handful of traitors cannot tarnish the honor, unity, cohesion and image of the armed forces,”
said Maduro, calling on the troops to be prepared for a possible American military action.