There was an unexpected twist Tuesday evening as Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó's attempted uprising against President Nicolás Maduro’s government appeared to be sputtering out. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Maduro was set to flee Venezuela — but that Russia had persuaded him to stay.
Russia denies the claim, and on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a phone call with Pompeo that Washington’s “interference” was “a most grave violation of international law,” according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry. “It was indicated that continuing these aggressive steps would be fraught with the most serious consequences,” a Foreign Ministry statement describing the call said. “Only the Venezuelan people have the right to determine their own fate, which is why a dialogue is necessary between all the political forces of the whole country, as its government has long been calling for.”
The anecdote underscored the battle for influence being waged between the United States, which firmly backs Guaidó, and Russia, a friend of the Maduro government, over Venezuela.
Read the full article and more in The Washington Post.