China Urges Respect for Venezuela’s Sovereignty

China pressed for calm in Venezuela Wednesday, stating the fate of the country lies in the hands of its people.

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
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Puebla, Mexico, May 4, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – China pressed for calm in Venezuela Wednesday, stating that the fate of the country remains in the hands of its people.

“We sincerely hope and believe that the people of Venezuela can handle their internal affairs properly, maintain national stability, along with economic and social development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a press conference.

Shuang continued by stating “the situation is in the hands of [Venezuela’s] people”, before expressing hope the current political crisis in Caracas can be resolved peacefully.

“Stability and peace are blessings,” the spokesperson added.

The comments are the first from Beijing since Venezuela’s latest political stand-off started in late March, when the Supreme Court issued a controversial ruling effectively allowing it to pass legislation without the opposition-controlled National Assembly. The ruling has since been reversed, though opposition protests continue.

China itself is a key ally of President Nicolas Maduro, and has long provided Venezuela with a financial lifeline through an oil for loans deal. Internationally, other Maduro allies have likewise urged peace in Venezuela. In January, Russia said it was in “favor of a civilised way of seeking a solution to the complex situation of Venezuela, at the negotiating table”.

"The most important thing in the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement is the call for dialogue, because we believe that the only way to find a solution to the controversies that may exist between the parties [in Venezuela] is to have a dialogue and in that we agree with the vast majority of world states," Russia’s ambassador to Venezuela, Vladimir Zaemsky, told Sputnik News at the time.

Then in April, the Russian foreign ministry warned of a “spiral of violence that feeds on street riots” in Venezuela.

“We are sure that the solution to the political confrontation is putting violence aside,” a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Thirty-nine people have been killed so far in the latest wave of political unrest in Venezuela, according to data compiled by Venezuelanalysis. Five of those deaths have been caused by state security forces, while nine have been directly attributed to violent anti-government protesters. Most of the other deaths were either accidental, or are yet to be accounted for.

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