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US failed in its plans for speedy coup in Venezuela: Russia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro take part in a pro-government “Anti-Imperialist March” in Caracas, on March 30, 2019. (AFP photo)

A senior Russian official has reacted to threats by the United States for imposing sanctions on Moscow over its cooperation with the Venezuelan government, saying those threats show Washington has failed in its plan to carry out a “speedy coup” in the South American country.

In a Saturday statement, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed Washington for its “ridiculous attempts to intimidate” Moscow over its legitimate defense cooperation with Venezuela, saying such sharp reactions were connected to the fact that Washington’s “planned speedy coup in Caracas has not succeeded.”

Zakharova further urged the US to refrain from hampering Venezuela’s economy for its own political objectives while warning that such moves would push the South American nation toward civil war.

"For our part, we can only recommend that the US stop threatening Venezuela, smothering its economy and pushing it to civil war, in open violation of international law,” said Zakharova,

The comments come after US authorities warned they would impose sanctions on Russia over its decision to send military specialist to the Venezuela.

Zakharova defended dispatching the specialists as legitimate, saying US authorities were wrong to depict the move as a military intervention.

“The Russian side clearly stated the purpose of the arrival of its specialists to Caracas. This is not about any ‘military contingents’,” she said in a statement, adding, “Thus, the speculations about the conduct of certain ‘military operations’ by Russia in Venezuela are absolutely groundless.”

Russia has previously objected to US move to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as president, saying Moscow will continue to support the democratically elected government led by President Nicolas Maduro in the face of Washington’s threats.

Zakharova said Russia was ready to help launch dialogue between Venezuelan government and the opposition to resolve the political standoff in the country.

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