Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a media question on developments around Venezuela


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Disturbing moments have come into focus again in developments around Venezuela. They undermine any prospects for consolidating the international community’s position in favour of searching for a political settlement in this country through negotiations, by Venezuelans themselves and without destructive external interference.

In response to steps Caracas has taken to ensure that the election schedule goes according to national legislation and to hold National Assembly elections, some international organisations, including the Lima Group and the International Contact Group, have issued unbalanced statements, which in fact play into the hands of radical circles.

Moreover, the European Union has adopted a package of sanctions against a group of Venezuelan politicians, including opposition members who advocate constructive dialogue with the authorities. It is significant, however, that the foreign policy services of Venezuela and the EU have managed, nevertheless, to prevent an escalation of the diplomatic crisis.

We note with concern that the High Court of London ruled to recognise Juan Guaido as “acting president” of Venezuela and grant him access to the country’s gold stored in the Bank of England.

This ruling is ridiculous. As far as one can discern from The Honourable Mr. Justice Teare’s statement, the London court did not even attempt to give a legal assessment of Juan Guiado’s claims and just followed the stance of British executive authorities which, as he said, had earlier “unequivocally recognised Mr Guaido as president of Venezuela” inasmuch as a country cannot have two presidents.  

Apparently, the courts in the UK are independent as long as the judges’ position is in line with the government’s opinion.

We would eagerly study the High Court’s legal arguments, however, there obviously aren’t any. British law is silent when political ends are at stake. 

As a result, one state has in fact divested another state of its property with the purpose of funding an anti-constitutional coup in that country in violation of a number of principles and rules of international law, without respect for the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of states, sovereignty or the immunity of state property. The interests of the Venezuelan people obviously have been violated, this in addition to its ongoing sufferings from sanctions, which also run counter to international law.

Summing up the recent developments around Venezuela we would like to remind our European colleagues that their efforts against the legitimate authorities in Caracas lead to nowhere.

During multiple foreign policy contacts in different formats with Russia’s participation most recently we thought that a common understanding was beginning to take shape and that a balanced approach was needed, one that would be aimed at contributing to the solution of an obviously uneasy challenge – establishing mutual trust between the Venezuelan sides. However, the above steps taken by European capitals do not contribute to that end but rather lead the situation to a dead end. Their initiators admit their own impotence and the absence of civilised ideas on the Venezuela settlement track. The objective is the same – to make any rapprochement between the opposition and Chavez followers “toxic” in order to prevent the conflicting sides from finding common ground.

We must stress that the people of Venezuela, fatigued by this domestic conflict, who are forced to live in harsh socioeconomic conditions caused by external “suffocating” sanctions and who over the past few months have also had to combat the coronavirus epidemic, are beginning to more actively show a commitment to a civilised and political solution. All will have the respective opportunity, according to the current legislation, to elect a new parliament on December 6 and then – also within the constitutionally envisaged timeframe – to confirm the mandate of the current head of state. A growing number of the country’s political forces have expressed readiness to participate in the election campaign.

This trend deserves comprehensive support rather than simply being torpedoed just to please some destructively-minded radicals for whom a successful political process would mean their departure from the political scene.

We will keep supporting constructively thinking political forces in Venezuela further in their aspirations to overcome disagreements peacefully, through negotiations and nation-wide dialogue, without diktat, ultimatums or sanctions.

We once again call upon all responsible members of the international community to give top priority to the principles of goodwill and humanism, to contribute their utmost to creating a favourable atmosphere for intensifying national dialogue in Venezuela.



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