01:55 GMT07 April 2020
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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (579)

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused China and Russia of "helping destroy" Venezuela by continuing to support Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who Washington has called illegitimate. Pompeo also called the presence of Russian troops in the country an "obvious provocation."

    "China and others are being hypocritical in calling for 'non-intervention' in Venezuela's affairs," Pompeo said in a speech in Santiago, Chile, on Friday. "Their own financial interventions have helped destroy the country."

    "China is an important economic partner of the United States. The problem, though, is that when China does business in places like Latin America, it often injects corrosive capital into the economic bloodstream, giving life to corruption, and eroding good governance," the diplomat continued.

    ​Pompeo blasted Russian cooperation with Venezuela and Nicaragua, saying Russian investments in police training with Caracas and a satellite compound in the latter country, "to put it mildly, aren't good."

    "Russia also has long-standing ties to authoritarian leaders in Cuba and Nicaragua. It sells arms and disseminates propaganda in those places," Pompeo said. "We shouldn't stand for Russia escalating an already precarious situation in these ways."

    ​Since January 23, the US has been a vocal and material supporter of Juan Guaido, a parliamentarian who proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president, denouncing Maduro's administration as undemocratic and calling for Maduro's ouster. However, lacking any substantial mass support in the country, where 80 percent of the population had never heard of him at the time of the declaration, Guaido's attempted coup has fizzled amid steady popular support for Maduro, who was reelected last May by a wide margin in elections hailed internationally as free and fair.

    Political Crisis in Venezuela (579)


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    coup attempt, police training, provocations, deployment, military support, accusations, Mike Pompeo, China, Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela
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