After Call, Trump Says Putin ‘Not Looking at All to Get Involved in Venezuela’
President Donald Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin today about a number of topics––apparently not Russian meddling, though––including Venezuela.
The United States recognizes Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela, and amid the uprising this week officials in the Trump administration have called out Russia’s role in helping prop up Nicolas Maduro.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed on CNN earlier this week that Maduro was ready to leave but was talked out of it by the Russians. (The Russian foreign ministry called this “fake news” in response.)
In an interview yesterday, Pompeo said, “The Cubans invaded some time ago; the Russians have now followed suit. The numbers of Cubans in the security apparatus alone are in the thousands. The Russians have people working over there in the hundreds, if not more. These are the folks who are actually controlling the direction of travel for Venezuela.”
Both John Bolton and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan also called out Russia for propping up Maduro:
Only the Venezuelan people can determine the future of Venezuela. Maduro is only clinging to power because of the support of Russia and Cuba, the only foreign military forces in Venezuela. Without foreign interference, the democratic process in Venezuela would be underway today.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) May 3, 2019
1 of 2: A free and stable Venezuela is a U.S. national security priority. Juan Guaidó is the legitimate leader of Venezuela, officially recognized by 54 countries around the world. It is not surprising that China, Russia, Cuba, and Iran recognize Nicolás Maduro.
— Acting SecDef Pat Shanahan (@ActingSecDef) May 1, 2019
Trump said today Venezuela came up in his call with Putin:
“Venezuela was one of the topics. And he is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen in Venezuela, and I feel the same way.”
You can watch above, via Fox News.
[image via screengrab]
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