MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro can foil possible US plans for military intervention in the country, if there are no provocations against US diplomats and bloodshed among protesters, Viktor Semenov, an expert at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Latin American Studies, told TASS on Friday.
"Maduro needs to prevent bloodshed among protesters. He cannot make any tough steps like using tanks to suppress protests," the expert said. "I believe in this case the US will refrain from direct intervention." "Today, there is some kind of a lull in the situation in Venezuela, and it would seem that this unrest will wane in the absence of provocations against the US diplomatic staff in Caracas and bloodshed," he stressed.
The expert recalled that some regional media outlets earlier reported there were bases to train militants both in the US and neighboring countries. "It is more than likely that the Americans will try to transport them to Venezuela through the border with Colombia, but a signal will be required to do that," he said, stressing that hostile acts against US diplomats could be such a signal.
"It is noteworthy that Venezuela’s intelligence services and police are able to cope with large-scale protests, so it is important to make sure that the current situation remains within the framework of the police rather than army operations," he explained.
Semenov added that, in the event of exporting pro-American militants to Venezuela from neighboring countries, Caracas has all necessary means and experience to quell them quickly. "Venezuela’s army is a very strong organism," he pointed out. "Attempts to destabilize the army by means of mutinies over the past few years were quite telling. The rebels had no leader, there was no strong organizing force behind them that would help spread the rebellion."
"In the meantime, the army sides firmly with Venezuela’s legitimate president and government," the expert concluded.
Crisis in Venezuela
On January 23, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president during an opposition rally in Caracas. Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro described these developments as an attempted coup and said he was breaking diplomatic ties with the US.
The Lima Group member-countries, except for Mexico, as well as Albania, Georgia, the US and the Organization of American States (OAS) have already recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim president. Some EU countries supported Venezuela’s parliament, expressing the hope that elections will be held to resolve the crisis.
Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey expressed their support for Maduro. Belarus and China called for resolving all disagreements peacefully and spoke out against outside interference, while the UN secretary general called for a dialogue to find a solution to the crisis.