CHINA and Russia are rallying behind Venezuela, warning against an imminent military intervention into the Latin American country. It is facing a showdown today when the pro-Trump opposition plans to bring in a US ‘aid’ convoy.
China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday the ‘so-called aid’ should not be forced into Venezuela, lest it cause violence. A Venezuelan minister also planned to meet Russian leaders in Moscow later in the day.
Maduro on Thursday ordered Venezuela’s border with Brazil to be shut and threatened to also close the border with Colombia as opposition leader Juan Guaido planned to get to the frontier to receive the US package.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Venezuelan government has ‘remained calm and exercised restraint’, effectively preventing large-scale clashes.
‘If so-called aid material is forced into Venezuela, and then if it causes violence and clashes, it will have serious consequences. This is not something anyone wants to see,’ Geng said.
‘China opposes military intervention in Venezuela, and opposes any actions causing tensions or even unrest,’ he said.
Both Russia and China support President Maduro, while the US and its allies back Guaido who has declared himself Venezuela’s interim president and received recognition from the West.
Venezuelan President Maduro says his country possesses effective weapons supplied by Russia and China.
On Friday, Venezuela’s Industry Minister Tareck El Aissami was to meet Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov in Moscow, Interfax news agency reported.
Maduro announced in a televised speech on Thursday that the vast border with Brazil would be closed ‘completely and absolutely’ until further notice.
• Senator Bernie Sanders, who has announced that he is running for US president in 2020, has refused to recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president.