Venezuela’s opposition leader courts Maduro’s international allies after ‘clandestine meetings’ with military
Venezuela opposition leaderJuan Guaidohas reportedly reached out to disputedPresident Nicolas Maduro’s staunchest supporters – Russia and China – to convince them to switch sides.
The 35-year-old lawmaker revealed Thursday that he has sent communications to both powers, arguing that their interests would be best served by switching which side they support in the ongoingpolitical crisis in Venezuela.
Russia and China are the country’s top foreign creditors and support Maduro despite worries about the cash-strapped country’s ability to pay.
“What most suits Russia and China is the country’s stability and a change of government,” Guaido toldReuters. “Maduro does not protect Venezuela, he doesn’t protect anyone’s investments, and he is not a good deal for those countries.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing that they are “maintaining close communication with all parties through various means regarding the situation in Venezuela.”
“We believe that no matter how the situation develops or changes, cooperation between China and Venezuela will not be damaged,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that Moscow has not yet received any communication from Guaido.
“We have not received any messages yet. If or when we receive it, we will review it,” he told reporters, according to theMoscow Times.
Venezuela’s top military representative to the U.S., Col. Jose Luis Silva, has defected, but senior military figures in the country have pledged their unwavering support of Maduro.
Maduro, who has been crisscrossing Venezuela overseeing military exercises and vowing to defend his socialist government no matter the cost, is growing increasingly isolated as more nations back Guaido. He has described Guaido’s challenge as a “vile” coup attempt and still has control of most of the Venezuelan government, including its cash cow, the state-owned oil company.