President Maduro Asks People of Venezuela For Help to Defend Country Ahead of American Coup
The president of Venezuela called upon the people to defend order in the country. Nicolás Maduro views the events taking place in the country as an attempt at a coup. A day ago, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the acting president of Venezuela, although two weeks ago, Nicolás Maduro assumed office. Guaido was supported by the majority of Latin American countries. President Maduro claims that all of it was carefully planned in Washington which has long been interfering in the Caracas's affairs. He announced that Venezuela is severing diplomatic ties with the United States.
Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela: "I declare to the people that, as the constitutional president, I decided to sever diplomatic and political relations with the US government. On this historic day, I'm signing a diplomatic note, giving 72 hours for the USA's entire diplomatic and consular staff to leave the country. The government which I'm the head of will defend the sovereignty of the country at any cost. We defend the right of our republic, our homeland, to exist".
Supporters and opponents of President Maduro went to rallies throughout the country. It is reported that some people were killed in violent clashes. In Caracas, stores and the subway are closed. Police have to use tear gas and, according to some reports, even use weapons.
The Venezuelan Defense Ministry stressed that the military doesn't recognize Juan Guaido. The authorities in Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Cuba said that they support the legitimate president. Turkey also supports him. The Embassy of Venezuela in Russia promised to continue to follow Maduro's instructions.
The Russian Federation Council stated that they're closely monitoring the situation and consider any coup attempt in Venezuela to be illegal, as Nicolás Maduro previously won the elections.
Vladimir Dzhabarov, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee: "I think that the army should perform its constitutional duties. It should protect the legitimate president because there's no reason to think that the elections were rigged. Mr. Maduro has a full right to urgently turn to the UN Security Council as this is an illegal attempt to topple him and request an urgent meeting of the Security Council. Probably, one of the other permanent members of the Security Council will convene such a meeting. Although I think that if it doesn't follow the American scenario, it'll be blocked. Of course, Russia is closely monitoring the situation. Still, I believe that the issue which arose in Venezuela will be solved within the constitutional framework. Any coup will be illegal".