Moscow: US no longer in charge


Russian specialists are in Venezuela as part of the 2001 military-technical cooperation deal with Caracas that doesn’t need further approval, Moscow said after reports of the arrival of two military planes with troops and cargo.

Russia develops its relations with Venezuela “in strict accordance with the Constitution of this country and in full respect of its legislation,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

The existing deal was ratified by both Russia and Venezuela, and it “doesn’t require any additional approval from the National Assembly of Venezuela,” she pointed out.

Zakharova was responding to a media request for comment over the alleged Russian “meddling” into Venezuelan affairs.

Following reports that two Russian military planes carrying around 100 troops and cargo landed outside Caracas on Saturday, the Organization of American States labeled it “a harmful act to Venezuelan sovereignty, while the US State Department insisted that it was “a reckless escalation of the situation” in the country. Washington was quite peeved after the Russians activated Venezuela’s S-300 systems.

US National Security Adviser and one of the strongest backers of regime change in Venezuela, John Bolton, was also outraged, writing on Twitter that: “the US will not tolerate hostile foreign military powers meddling with the Western Hemisphere’s shared goals of democracy, security, and the rule of law.” According to Bolton, the Western hemisphere and the unlucky countries to be there are owned by the US.

Washington had recognized opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as the legitimate president of Venezuela and even mulled the so-called “humanitarian intervention” in order to remove the unwanted government of Nicolas Maduro from power.

Zakharova responded to Bolton by saying that his words prove that the US still considers “Latin America an area of its exclusive interests; its own ‘backyard’ and demands unquestionable obedience from it” just like it was in the Colonial times under the infamous Monroe Doctrine.

If the Americans deny other countries access to the Western Hemisphere, it begs the question “what are they themselves doing in the Eastern Hemisphere?” asked Zakharova.