Russia withdrew key military advisers and financial support from Venezuela over the weekend; ending a major lifeline that enabled socialist President Nicolas Maduro to cling to power in recent months despite crippling US sanctions.
“Russian state defense contractor Rostec, which has trained Venezuelan troops and advised on securing arms contracts, has cut its staff in Venezuela to just a few dozen, from about 1,000 at the height of cooperation between Moscow and Caracas several years ago,” reports Fox News.
“The gradual pullout, which has escalated over the last several months, according to people familiar with the situation, is due to a lack of new contracts and the acceptance that Mr. Maduro’s regime no longer has the cash to continue to pay for other Rostec services associated with past contracts,” adds the article.
Maduro survived an attempted overthrow of his regime just months ago, with opposition leader Juan Guaido admitting the uprising failed because of the military’s reluctance to join his movement.
Guaido -recognized as Venezuela’s interim President by more than 50 countries- blamed the “failure” on senior military officials’ decision to support Maduro’s regime as tens of thousands protested across Caracas.
“There have been discussions… with civil and military officials who are ready to take the side of our constitution,” he added. “I’m very optimistic given that we are very close to achieving change in Venezuela.”
Maduro publicly blamed the uprising on the United States, saying the so-called “coup” was directed from the “Gringo Empire” based in Washington, DC.
“Russia has been among Maduro’s biggest international supporters, but the winding down of Rostec’s presence shows the limits of Russia’s reach in the South American country at a time when Moscow is facing economic difficulties—in part due to the impact of U.S. sanctions—at home. Venezuela has been one of Moscow’s largest customers in South America,” adds Fox.
Read the full report at Fox News.
CARACAS UPRISING: Maduro Says ‘Military Traitors’ Attempting a Coup in Venezuela’s Capital
Venezuela’s socialist government confirmed Tuesday that a group of “military traitors” were actively attempting to overthrow Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Caracas; saying opposition leader Juan Guaido is currently in the capital surrounded by a group of “men in uniform.”
The President of Colombia threw his full support behind Guado hours after violence erupted just miles from Maduro’s residence; saying “We call the military and the people of #Venezuela to be on the right side of history, rejecting the dictatorship and usurpation of Maduro; uniting in search of freedom, democracy and institutional reconstruction, headed by @AsambleaVE and the President @jguaido.”
Hacemos llamado a militares y al pueblo de #Venezuela para que se ubiquen del lado correcto de la historia, rechazando dictadura y usurpación de Maduro; uniéndose en búsqueda de libertad, democracia y reconstrucción institucional, en cabeza de @AsambleaVE y el Presidente @jguaido
— Iván Duque 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) April 30, 2019
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
HALEY SOUNDS OFF: Nikki Haley Joins Protesters, Calls for REMOVAL of Venezuela's Maduro
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley joined hundreds of protesters outside the United Nations Thursday; addressing the demonstrators with a megaphone and calling for the outright removal of Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
The unusual move for one of the nation’s top diplomats highlighted the devastating impact of Venezuela’s ongoing financial crisis and economic collapse.
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, joined protests against the Venezuela's President Maduro outside the UN building in New York pic.twitter.com/NPO352cftA
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) September 28, 2018
“We are going to fight for Venezuela and we are going to continue doing it until Maduro is gone!” yelled Haley.
“We need your voices to be loud and I will tell you, the US voice is going to be loud,” she added. “What we saw is what no one should live … while Maduro is eating in nice restaurants.”
Haley’s comments come days after Maduro was seen dining on $100 steaks and smoking lavish cigars during a recent trip to Asia to secure aid for his starving citizens.
Read the full report at Yahoo News.