Russia's foreign ministry voiced its concern over violence by right-wing protests in Venezuela while rebuking recent threats by the U.S. Southern Command, saying these would only stoke violence and ultimately act against U.S. interests.
"Seriously alarmed, we are monitoring the situation in our friend Venezuela, where violent clashes between opposition demonstrators and the police continue, even despite the arrival of Easter," Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told media Wednesday.
The top Russian official also expressed sympathy "for the victims of the spiral of violence that feeds on street riots," while also alluding to the tragic history of U.S. interference in the region.
"We should highlight the risks of the increase of the destructive scene that we had previously outlined and recall the sad events in the '70s in Chile," Zakharova said in a reference to the U.S.-backed coup against Chilean president Salvador Allende following months of violent protests and economic sabotage.
Zakharova slammed a statement by the U.S. Southern Command which threatened a regional response to the instability in the country.
"Such statements only add more instability and worsen the situation in the South American country and we see it as a stimulus to the radicals to create an atmosphere of instability, as well as to increase violent confrontation," she said.
"The way we see it, it should not benefit at all the interest of the United States and in general, those of the international community, including the regional countries," she stated.
According to Zakharova, the solution to the country's problems lie in "resuming the national negotiations in the interest of resolving the serious socio-economic problems" in Venezuela, while at the same time "maintaining exchange and supporting the Venezuelan legitimate authorities."
Since the beginning of April, opposition leaders have been leading anti-government demonstrations calling for the ouster of the country's Supreme Court judges as well as President Nicolas Maduro. According to reports, five people have been killed in the ensuing violence, including a 13-year-old boy who was killed Wednesday when opposition protesters entered a social housing complex.