MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. The current developments surrounding Venezuela were planned and carefully staged by the US, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies expert Igor Pshenichnikov told TASS. He commented on the escalating diplomatic pressure Caracas is undergoing and the withdrawal of ambassadors representing the Lima Group member states (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru).
"The Americans are following a carefully designed plan, determined to seize the chance they have been waiting for. The US declared the Venezuelan presidential election to be illegitimate, thus creating such a moment," he said.
"The so-called Lima Group that has recalled (its) ambassadors is actually an anti-Venezuelan bloc cobbled together in Peru’s capital at the April Summit of the Americas," the expert pointed out. "In fact, though undeclared, the main goal of the summit was to establish an anti-Venezuelan front. So the recent withdrawal of ambassadors comes as no surprise," he stressed.
According to Pshenichnikov, the current developments in Venezuela seem to pointing towards the implementation of another "color" revolution scenario. "We are now watching a play entitled ‘The overthrow of President Maduro’," the expert said.
"The first act of this play showed US President Donald Trump make a statement about the Venezuelan election being illegitimate," he noted. "The Lima Group recalled their ambassadors to Caracas in the second act, which seems to be aimed at isolating President Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela on the international stage. The third act will be the levying of sanctions on oil companies, the US may possibly block any oil exports just like it has been obstructing oil companies’ access to the international banking system to prevent any deals involving Venezuelan oil," Pshenichnikov noted.
In the future, actions will be taken to exacerbate the crisis in Venezuela. There will be economic pressure aimed at driving the whole country into a complete collapse where people won’t be able to take it anymore.
A military invasion is also possible, the Russian expert went on to say. "If the Venezuelan authorities manage to take some retaliatory steps to oppose economic blackmail and pressure, then the US may continue its efforts to incite the public and whip up a civil war because the people are already divided in two," he noted.
US unlikely to leave Venezuela alone
In Pshenichnikov’s view, tensions surrounding Venezuela are unlikely to subside. "Under the current circumstances, nothing can be ruled out because the Americans have latched on to Venezuela in earnest," he emphasized.
"The US will not leave Venezuela alone so the country’s prospects are grim," he added. "If the global community fails to assist the country right now, then the Venezuelan people will end up with a Syrian scenario, though there may not be large-scale bombing and destruction since the country has a vast oil infrastructure."
Venezuela’s current situation
According to Venezuela’s National Election Council, incumbent President Nicolas Maduro won Sunday’s election, receiving nearly 6.2 mln votes, while his main rival Henri Falcon, representing the Progressive Advance party, garnered 1.9 mln votes. Voter turnout was slightly more than 46%.
Falcon had refused to recognize the election’s results even before they were announced. Earlier in the month, the United States, and a number of Latin American countries along with Spain, said they would not recognize the outcome of Venezuela’s election.