Russia, Venezuelan Military Reject Foreign Intervention

The Russian government and Venezuela’s armed forces gave their backing to the democratically elected Maduro government following a unilateral parliamentary impeachment attempt.

By Lucas Koerner
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Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez rejects unconstitutional attempts to overthrow the Maduro government. (teleSUR)
Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez rejects unconstitutional attempts to overthrow the Maduro government. (teleSUR)

Caracas, October 26, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Russian government and Venezuela’s military high command issued statements Tuesday opposing foreign intervention in the South American nation following an unilateral impeachment attempt by the country’s opposition-led parliament.

On Sunday, the Venezuelan National Assembly issued a statement declaring a “rupture in the constitutional order” and appealing to the military to disobey the orders of the government.

The move came in response to a CNE decision to temporarily suspend the next phase of preparations for a recall referendum pending court-ordered investigations into 53,658 fraudulent signatures collected by the opposition earlier this year.

In an official communiqué, Venezuela’s defense minister, General Vladimir Padrino Lopez, pledged the support of the nation’s armed forces to the democratically elected Maduro government.

The “true purpose” of the parliamentary declaration, he said, was to “gravely harm the country’s institutions by way of anarchy and chaos in order to ultimately overthrow a legitimately established government.”

In particular, the top military official denounced the legislature’s “incitement to insubordination and rebellion” as well as its call for the “international community to… guarantee the rights of Venezuelans”, which he branded an “affront to independence and national sovereignty”.

The National Assembly’s declaration also elicited a response from Russia, which likewise warned against any external intervention in the South American country.

“We believe that this is the path that one needs to take, in compliance with the constitutional framework, without destructive interference from the outside, which is absolutely unacceptable, without trying to impose one or another model, which are splitting the society," stated Sergei Ryabkov, vice-minister of the exterior.

The minister voiced his country’s “solidarity” with the government and people of Venezuela, expressing hope that the new round of Vatican-mediated talks with the opposition will ease tensions in the South American nation.

"We look at the situation (in Venezuela) with concern, but I must say also with confidence that the Venezuelan leadership and 'healthy' forces of Venezuelan society will find a way to get out of the current crisis without compromising the stability of the country and in compliance with the constitutional framework," stated the politician.  

Russia under President Vladimir Putin has been a key Venezuelan ally, which has forged closed ties with the Chavez and Maduro administrations in the areas of energy, defense, and international diplomacy.