SANAA, (AIWA! NO!) – The White House national security adviser John Bolton said in a television interview yesterday night that Venezuelan military soldiers are communicating with members of parliament on how to support the opposition.
Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido said in an interview that the expulsion of the German ambassador by Caracas was a threat against Germany, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.
“This action represents a threat against Germany,” Guaido was quoted as saying on Thursday.
German ambassador Daniel Kriener was expelled two days after he and diplomats from other embassies welcomed home Guaido at Caracas airport.
Rancour and recriminations were the order of the day with allies as well as adversaries turning on each other in one of the most important gatherings of the Munich Security Conference in recent years.
Efforts were supposed to be made, at least among western countries, to find common ground on a range of issues from the Middle East after the end of the Isis caliphate to cyber warfare, Brexit, extremism and climate change.
Instead the US vice president Mike Pence attacked European states for not joining Washington in pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran and failing to fully follow the American line on the Venezuelan crisis.
Repeatedly praising Donald Trump for his allegedly “remarkable” and “extraordinary” qualities which have made “America stronger than ever before”, enabling it to “lead on the world stage again”, Mr Pence derided Nato allies.
His speech was greeted with muted cheering, with Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner clapping enthusiastically, but a significant number of those present staying silent and some of his remarks being greeted with whispered mockery.
The crisis in Venezuela appears to be shaping up like a Cold War-style confrontation: The Kremlin is throwing its support behind embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, while Washington backs Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed interim president.
The story at first glance seems to have all the elements of a spy thriller. In recent days, rumors have swirled about Russian mercenaries, massive bullion shipments and murky assassination plots.
Maduro has cast himself as a latter-day Fidel Castro in this drama. In an interview with Russia’s state-owned news agency RIA-Novosti, Maduro hinted at a US-backed attempt on his life, saying, “Without a doubt, Donald Trump gave the order to kill me, told the Colombian government, the mafia of Colombia to kill me.”
The European Parliament has voted to recognise Venezuela’s acting president Juan Guaido, and urged the European Union to follow suit.
It does not change EU policy, but adds to calls for the EU executive and its member states to join the United States, Canada and Brazil in backing Guaido.
Four major European member states have told Maduro to call those elections by the weekend or they will recognise the opposition-backed parliamentary speaker.
The motion urges Brussels accept Guaido as “legitimate interim president of the country until new free, transparent and credible presidential elections can be called in order to restore democracy.”
The text was proposed jointly by the major political groups in the parliament, and backed by a 439 deputies against 104 “no” votes and 88 abstentions.