27 Mar 2019
Deployment of Russian troops in troubled Venezuela violates constitution: Guaido
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido charged yesterday that the deployment of Russian troops in the troubled South American country violates its constitution.
Guaido, who is recognized by the US and more than 50 countries as Venezuela's interim president, raised the issue in a speech to the National Assembly, which he heads.
Didn't bring generators or engineers, brought foreign troops here: Guaido
Guaido said Maduro and his government "didn't bring generators in those (Russian) planes, they didn't bring engineers. They brought in foreign troops onto national soil."
The opposition-controlled legislature, which has long been sidelined by Maduro, asserts that it alone has the legal power to authorize foreign military missions in Venezuela.
Meanwhile, Russia maintained that the deployment was 'in strict accordance with the constitution'.
Deployment in 'strict accordance with the constitution of Venezuela': Russia
The Russian foreign-ministry yesterday said the deployment was "in strict accordance with the constitution of that country and with full respect for its legal norms".
While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the US of trying to organize a "coup" in Venezuela, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in return, has warned that it won't "stand idly by as Russia exacerbates tensions."
Near-nationwide blackout has gripped Venezuela again, second this month
The geopolitical tussle between the former Cold War foes is playing out as Venezuela sinks deeper into economic and social crisis.
A near-nationwide blackout, the second this month, has gripped the country since Monday, deepening public frustration with conditions already marked by scarce food and medicine and runaway inflation.
Despite US-President Trump's assurance, there has been no sign of American military action in Venezuela.
Russia, China lent Maduro regime loan in exchange of oil-exports
Guaido has been holding rallies for supporters around the country in which he has vowed to "very soon" take over the presidential palace.
But so far Maduro has not been budged.
Russia remains Maduro's main ally. Moscow and Beijing, the country's top creditor, have lent the Maduro regime billions of dollars in exchange for a big slice of oil exports.
'It seems President Maduro's government doesn't trust its own troops'
"It seems the government of President Maduro doesn't trust its own troops, because it's importing others ... once again violating the constitution," said Guaido. Russia, which recognizes Maduro as leader, sent two planes carrying 100 troops and tons of military equipment to Venezuela on Saturday.
Maduro retains power mainly through the loyalty of military
Although Trump has repeated that he's keeping "all options" on the table concerning Venezuela, there have been no signs of imminent American military action in the oil-rich country. Instead Maduro, who is deeply unpopular in Venezuela, retains power mainly through the loyalty of the military.