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    Masked anti-government demonstrators stend to a burning barricade during a protest against the installation of a constitutional assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017

    Moscow Slams US' 'Unacceptable' Threats to Use Force in Venezuela

    © AP Photo / Ariana Cubillos
    Latin America
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    Moscow believes that sanctions and threats to use force in Venezuela are unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) US President Donald Trump said August 11 that Washington was considering the possibility of a "military option" in Venezuela in case it was necessary.

    Venezuela is now showing the first signs of a decline in violent confrontation between the opposition and government supporters, Zakharova stated.

    "Against this background, the position of some world leaders, who do not notice the new political realities emerging in Venezuela, cannot but cause concern. Continuing attempts to destabilize the situation, to exert pressure on the Venezuelan authorities, carry an extremely destructive impetus, because they threaten the frail emerging balance," the spokeswoman added.

    Zakharova noted that Moscow deemed unacceptable unilateral economic sanctions against Venezuela, which would strike at the most vulnerable groups of the population first of all.

    "Threats of the possible use of foreign military force… are even more unacceptable [than economic sanctions against Venezuela]… Such statements go against the principles of international law on non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states and the refusal to use force. We regard such statements as an attack not only against Caracas, but also against the region as a whole," Zakharova told reporters.

    On August 11, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said that the country's armed forces were ready to take all necessary steps to defend itself.

    Venezuela plunged into turbulence in March, when the Venezuelan Supreme Court decided to restrict the power of the legislature. The decision was immediately reversed amid a backlash, but supporters of the parliament, who strive for the dismissal of the court members, took to the streets on April 4, marking the start of violent protests.

    The protests were fueled by the June 30 Constituent Assembly election, initiated by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with the intention of rewriting the constitution of the unsettled nation. Venezuela's opposition, as well as the European Union and the United States, among other countries, have refused to recognize the body's legitimacy.


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