Opposition leader Juan Guaido is now acknowledging that the possibility of his arrest could soon become a reality as the Venezuelan government revokes his immunity. But several of the countries that have pledged support to Guaido appear to be more concerned about what Russia is doing in Venezuela.
Days after the delivery of two Russian military planes to Caracas started a media firestorm, reports now say that the personnel and equipment were involved in opening a training center for military helicopter pilots in Venezuela.
In a statement, Russia’s state corporation for arms sales said that Russian organizations remain committed to deepening cooperation with government agencies in Venezuela.
Following the news of Russia’s presence in the country, the United States has demanded that it come to an end, with Special Envoy Elliot Abrams claiming that the U.S. has options and it would be a mistake for the Russians to think they have a free hand. But U.S. officials are not the only ones who seem concerned about involvement from Russia…
The UK’s Foreign Secretary defended the opposition, and argued that what Venezuela needs is not Russian military deployments, but a return to democracy through free and fair presidential elections.
Despite a written warning from Russia that illegitimate use of military force against Venezuela would be interpreted as an act of aggression against a sovereign state, Colombia insisted that it has no intention of military intervention, and it supports a peaceful transition of power in the region.
In response to comments on Moscow’s motives, Russia’s foreign minister noted that they are following up on an agreement from 2001, and rejected the allegation that the goal is to create a second Syria in Venezuela.
Following a visit to Turkey, Venezuela’s foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, met with officials in Lebanon where he addressed concerns about influence from other countries. He said the current foreign interference in Venezuela is not coming from Russia.
“There is no interference. We have had cooperation, military, technical cooperation with Russia for almost 17 years, and it’s just developing as it should. There’s no… the only interference we have had for 20 years everyday of every week, of every month, of every year is from the United States,” Arreaza said.
The foreign minister also said he is traveling to Syria next, where he plans to publicly pledge his support for another leader who has been targeted by the US—Bashar al Assad.
Meanwhile, Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly has revoked opposition leader Juan Guaido’s immunity, which paves the way for his prosecution and potential arrest.
Guaido acknowledged that he could be arrested by the Maduro government, and insisted that he has already been contacted by dozens of foreign ministers and presidents who are concerned about the situation.
Now it remains to be seen whether the U.S. and its allies will continue to threaten Russia for its ties to Venezuela, and if they will make the dangerous move of turning those words into military actions.