MAJOR: Russia backs Maduro against US-backed coup attempt

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MOSCOW – Venezuelan issues must be resolved through responsible talks and without preconditions, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

In a statement, Moscow called for a “renunciation of violence” and said “it is important to avoid clutter and bloodshed.”

“The problems faced by Venezuela must be resolved through a process of responsible negotiation, without preconditions. All actions must be taken exclusively within the legal field, strictly in accordance with the Constitution and without external destructive interference,” the statement said.

Russia also reiterates that it advocates that “all members of the international community, including the country’s closest neighbors” follow the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law “to support the return of Venezuela to the path of stable and progressive development through the dialogue of all responsible political forces.”

Self-proclaimed President Juan Guaidó posted a video on Twitter on Tuesday in which he said he had support from the Armed Forces and called for help from the population to topple President Nicolás Maduro.

Maduro, however, says the military is still at his side.

The Venezuelan opposition’s attempt to organize a coup could be described as a terrorist act, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said on Tuesday.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on Venezuelan civilians and military earlier in the day to take to the streets to help depose legitimate President Nicolás Maduro.

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“We can characterize this act as an act of terrorism […] An act of cowardice and terrorism,” said Lopez, broadcast on VTV.

He noted that a small group of military and police officers stole cars and weapons, but were soon found by Maduro’s military supporters in the Altamira district of Caracas.

“We hold the opposition accountable for all acts of violence. We demand that violence stop,” Lopez said.

Large-scale protests against Maduro began in Venezuela on January 21, shortly after he was sworn in for a new term. Guaidó proclaimed himself an interim leader of the country.

Several Western countries, including the United States, supported his claim. Maduro, in turn, accused the United States of trying to organize a coup to install Guaidó as his puppet.

Russia, China and several other countries expressed their support for Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

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