Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela would be a disaster and said even Washington’s allies did not support such a course of action.
“We are against intervention into interior political affairs of other countries. We think it causes drastic, if not tragic consequences. The cases of countries like Libya, Iraq are the best proof to that,” the Russia leader told journalists Thursday (June 6) and added that his country does not approve of such ideas or plans towards Venezuela, a country that has traditionally been a close ally.
“We do not approve, we condemn such actions, let alone military intervention, it is a disaster. But as I assume, according to the information I have, even the U.S. allies do not support military intervention.”
Speaking at an economic forum in St Petersburg, Putin also said that Russian technical specialists remained in Venezuela in order to service Russian military hardware, something he said they were contractually obliged to do.
However, he said Moscow was not setting up any special military bases in Venezuela.
In addition, Putin also accused the United States of having destabilized the entire structure of the global security system by withdrawing or suspending important arms control treaties.
“Our American partners got out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (…) it was the first step to dismantle from their bases the whole structure of international relations in the sphere of global security,” Putin said at the meeting in St. Petersburg with the main international news agencies.
“And it was a very serious step. Now we are talking about the exit, also unilateral, from our US partners of the INF Treaty on medium and short-range missiles,” said the president.
Cuba reaffirms support for Venezuela
Meanwhile, Cuba reaffirmed its support for Venezuela despite new restrictions imposed by the U.S. on the island for supporting President Nicolas Maduro.
Cuba is rejecting once again the latest cultural and educational restrictions imposed by the United States on the island nation for supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, saying support for the Venezuelan leader is “not negotiable.”
United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the new restrictions were put in place this week to “destabilize” Cuba’s role in Latin America, especially its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
The U.S. supports Venezuelan opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido who declared himself interim president last January. Since that time he and the Trump administration have attempted several times to overthrow democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro.
“Cuba’s solidarity with the constitutional President Nicolas Maduro Moros, the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution and the civil-military union of its people, is not negotiable,” a Thursday-released official statement from the government read.
Starting June 5, U.S. citizens are prohibited from making group educational and cultural trips known as ‘people to people’ travel to Cuba.
By imposing these measures, the U.S. reinforced more than 60 years of the economic blockade on the country that has lost US$ 933 billion so far due to the economic blocks.
According to the commercial director at Cuba’s tourism ministry, Michel Bernal, the island nation received about 250,000 U.S. visitors in the first four months of 2019, a 93.5 percent increase from the same period in 2018.
The Cuban government also said that the more than 20,000 Cubans are living in Venezuela providing social services to the people, especially in the health sector, will continue doing so as long as Venezuelan people will welcome them.