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US deploying special forces, equipment to Venezuelan border, says Moscow

MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. The US is deploying special forces and equipment to the Venezuelan border, getting ready to stage a provocation involving a humanitarian aid convoy, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday.

"US special forces and equipment are being deployed close to the Venezuelan border," she said.

Crisis in Venezuela

On January 23, Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas.

Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him. Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference. The United Nations secretary general, in turn, called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.

On February 4, most of the European Union member states recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.