Pence Says Russian Military Personnel In Venezuela Is ‘An Unwelcome Provocation’
Vice President Mike Pence said that the recent landing of Russian military personnel in Venezuela was “an unwelcome provocation,” and called for Russia to cease talks with Maduro.
Trump also commented on Russia’s involvement in Venezuela reportedly saying, “Russia has to get out,” as reported by Reuters.
Trump added that “all options are open” in stopping Russian interference in Venezuela.
As President Trump made clear today, “Russia needs to get out” of Venezuela.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) March 27, 2019
Russian planes landed outside Caracas on Saturday, and Reuters reports that there are nearly 100 Russian personnel on the ground. The U.S. government believes there to be special forces and cybersecurity personnel with them.
Russia also announced that military forces had landed in Venezuela to support President Maduro, as reported by the Associated Press.
Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the troops were sent “in strict accordance” with their agreement on military cooperation as well as the Venezuelan constitution, according to the AP.
On Monday, Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo reportedly warned Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, saying that the U.S. “will not stand idly by as Russia exacerbates tensions in Venezuela,” according to Bloomberg.
Lavrov reportedly claimed to Pompeo that the U.S. is fomenting a “coup d’etat.” (RELATED: Rep Ilhan Omar Accuses Trump Of Waging A ‘Coup’ Against Venezuela)
In his meeting with interim president Guido’s wife, Pence reportedly called her “courageous” and said that “our message very simply is: We’re with you.”
Rosales is also going to meet with First Lady Melania Trump on Thursday, in Florida.