India on Friday said it favoured the resolution of the political crisis in Venezuela through constructive dialogue, PTI reported.
Venezuela is in the midst of a crisis after Opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the new president of the country on Wednesday after leading protests against President Nicolás Maduro. The United States, and South American countries, including Brazil, Colombia and Peru, have also recognised Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president.
“We are of the view that it is for the people of Venezuela to find political solution to resolve their differences through constructive dialogue and discussion without resorting to violence,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Kumar said India believed democracy, peace and security in Venezuela are of “paramount importance” for the country’s progress. “India and Venezuela enjoy close and cordial relations,” said Kumar.
At least 26 people have been killed since protests broke out against Maduro four days ago, the Caracas-based Observatory of Social Conflict said, according to AFP.
Venezuela orders closure of embassy, consulates in US
Maduro on Thursday announced the closure of the country’s embassy and all its consulates in the United States after cutting diplomatic ties with the Donald Trump administration a day before, reported CNN. Maduro had ended diplomatic relations with the US after Trump supported Opposition leader Juan Guaidó who declared himself president.
Maduro, while speaking at Venezuela’s Supreme Court, said diplomats and consulate personnel will return to the country by Saturday. “I believe there’s no doubt that Donald Trump wants to impose a de facto government, unconstitutional government, a coup against the people and democracy in Venezuela,” Maduro said during his speech. “There’s no doubt that is Donald Trump with his craziness of believing he’s the world’s police.”
The US State Department on Thursday asked non-emergency embassy staff to leave Venezuela, according to AFP. “The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Venezuela,” it said, adding that US citizens should “strongly consider departing” Venezuela.
Maduro on Wednesday had given US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country after Trump had recognised Guaidó as the president. The US said it was ignoring Maduro’s order as it did not believe he was still the president.
Guaidó on Thursday said he would consider granting amnesty to Maduro and his allies if they helped return Venezuela to democracy, reported AP.
Russia backs Nicolas Maduro
Russia President Vladimir Putin has offered support to Maduro, saying the political crisis in the Latin American country was provoked “from the outside”, reported AP. “He [Putin] emphasised that destructive external interference is a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law,” said a statement released by Kremlin. “He spoke in favour of searching for solutions within the constitutional framework and overcoming differences in Venezuelan society through peaceful dialogue.”
Apart from Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Turkey have also backed Maduro’s government. Venezuela’s military high command also voiced support for Maduro, accusing Guaidó of attempting a “coup d’etat”.