Foreign Ministry statement on the developments in Venezuela
The events in Venezuela have reached a dangerous point.
Failing to remove Nicolas Maduro, including physically, the extremist opponents of the legitimate government of Venezuela have opted for a highly confrontational scenario. The United States and several other countries in the region have recognised the opposition leader who has sworn himself in as Venezuela’s interim president. This can only deepen the social divide in Venezuela, aggravate street protests, dramatically destabilise the Venezuelan political community and further escalate the conflict. The deliberate and obviously well orchestrated creation of dual power and an alternative decision-making centre in Venezuela is a direct path towards chaos and erosion of Venezuelan statehood. Several people have already died. We firmly condemn those who are pushing Venezuelan society into the abyss of violent civil discord.
We regard Washington’s unceremonious actions as yet another demonstration of its total disregard for the norms and principles of international law and an attempt to pose as the self-imposed master of another nation’s future. The United States is clearly trying to apply a tried and tested regime change scenario in Venezuela.
We are especially alarmed by the signals we have received from some capitals on the possibility of foreign military interference. We warn that such opportunism can have catastrophic consequences.
We urge the sober-minded Venezuelan politicians standing in opposition to Nicolas Maduro’s legitimate government not to become pawns in other players’ chess game.
We believe that political activity is only acceptable if it is pursued within the constitutional framework and in strict compliance with the national legislation. Of course, the people must be able to freely express their opinions, including through rallies, but only if they do so peacefully in a manner that will not provoke violence or, worse still, endanger public safety.
Venezuelans alone have the right to determine their future. Any destructive foreign interference, especially amid the current tensions, is completely unacceptable. Incitement has nothing in common with a democratic process; it is a direct path towards lawlessness and violence.
It is a mission of the international community to help promote understanding between the political opposition forces in Venezuela that respect national interests. We are ready to cooperate with all countries that share these views.