Russians ordered Maduro not to flee Venezuela: U.S. Secretary of State

On April 30, Juan Guaidó announced Operation Freedom, an uprising against the Maduro regime, which has turned violent

Russians ordered Maduro not to flee Venezuela: U.S. Secretary of State
Nicolás Maduro has refused to negotiate a pacific transition of power - Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP
English 01/05/2019 12:40 Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English Mexico City CNN Actualizada 12:40
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Yesterday, Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader and the self-proclaimed interim President of Venezuela, called society to take the streets and rise against Nicolás Maduro, which resulted in violent clashes between both parties.

Juan Guaidó announced that this was an attempt to free Venezuela from the Maduro regime and claimed he has the support of the armed forces, although was later refuted by the Defense Minister.

World leaders and the United Nations called for a non-violent solution and U.S. President said he was closely monitoring the situation in Venezuela.

Earlier this morning, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that U.S. military action in Venezuela is an option in the face of yesterday's violent protests, despite military officials and experts casting doubt on such a move.

"The President has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent. Military action is possible. If that's what's required, that's what the United States will do," Pompeo told Fox Business Network. "We're trying to do everything we can to avoid violence. We've asked all the parties involved not to engage in the kind of activity. We'd prefer a peaceful transition of government there, where Maduro leaves and a new election is held. But the President has made clear, in the event that there comes a moment, and we'll all have to make decisions about when that moment is, and the President will have to ultimately make that decision. He is prepared to do that if that's what's required."

Pompeo's latest comments come after Nicolás Maduro claimed his troops defeated a "coup" attempt, amid calls by Guaidó for protesters to return to the streets today.

On Tuesday, when Venezuelans took the streets, Pompeo told CNN that Maduro was preparing to flee to Cuba but was convinced to stay by Russia. Moscow has denied the accusation.

"He had an airplane on the tarmac, he was ready to leave this morning as we understand it and the Russians indicated he should stay (…) He was headed for Havana," Pompeo said.


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