VENEZUELA REVERSAL: Trump Says Russia not Interfering – ditches Pompeo-Bolton line on Venezuela after Putin talks
MOSCOW – May 5, 2019 – In the aftermath of the failed coup which FRN has covered in depth, the White House is in clear disarray. U.S President Donald Trump has openly contradicted the statements of his senior officials on Russian “involvement” in Venezuela after a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin held on May 3.
“I had a very good talk with President Putin — probably over an hour,” Trump began. “And we talked about many things. 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 for Venezuela. And I feel the same way. We want to get some humanitarian aid,” Trump said when speaking to reporters in Washington on Friday during a meeting with the Slovakian prime minister.
According to Trump, the US wanted to help Venezuela on a humanitarian basis, including delivering food and water to the country’s “starving” population.
Trump’s statements appear to be at odds with earlier allegations by several of his top officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, about Russia’s alleged “interference” in Venezuela.
During a long telephone conversation Friday, US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Venezuela, the White House said.
On Wednesday, Pompeo spoke by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, saying that Russia should not “interfere” with the Latin American country. Lavrov called the allegations of Russian involvement in Venezuelan affairs “rather surrealist” and said that Russia’s “principled position” was “never to interfere in the affairs of other countries.”
Bolton warned countries from outside the Western Hemisphere not to install military forces in Venezuela and confirmed that the Monroe Doctrine, adopted by Washington in the late 19th century, continues to be followed by the leaders of the USA.
The crisis in Venezuela worsened on April 30, when Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who proclaimed himself the country’s acting president, launched the so-called Operation Freedom to remove Nicolás Maduro from power. In a video posted on Twitter, Guaidó appears alongside the military and opposition leader Leopoldo López, who was imprisoned since 2014 and was released by the rebels at the La Carlota airbase in Caracas. Guaidó called for a “non-violent struggle,” said he had the military on his side and said that “the time is now.”
According to Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López, the Venezuelan Armed Forces continue to be completely loyal to the legitimate authorities.