Zakharova: US is Preparing For a Venezuela Invasion; Forward Bases in Columbia Already in Place
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Well… The USA must scale back their ambitions. The Venezuelan crisis can be resolved in an exclusively peaceful and democratic way. Any military option is out of the question. This is the resume of the first meeting of the international contact group. It was created with the backing by the UN, to develop a plan for recovery from the crisis in Venezuela.
Stas Natanzon will tell about the result of the negotiations.
The contact group has met. It comprises of the representatives of Latin America and EU countries. The parties that are conflicting now in Venezuela didn't attend this meeting. In Montevideo, they agreed that the conflict should be resolved in a peaceful way, that they should aim at starting negotiations. The next meeting is scheduled for the beginning of March, with the participation of the foreign affairs ministers of the countries involved in the Venezuela contact group.
FEDERICA MOGHERINI, EU HIGH REPRESENTATIVE: «To properly fulfill the stated goals of the group, we will send a technical mission to Venezuela. After having analyzed its findings, the international group will meet for the second time in March, at the level of the ministries».
To be honest, from where I'm standing now, those peace initiatives look quite unrealistic. I'm at the border between Columbia and Venezuela where a so-called American humanitarian convoy has arrived. This convoy was much talked about by both Trump's advisor Bolton and many politicians in Latin America countries that remain in the orbit of the USA's influence. They promised that this humanitarian convoy was to feed the starving Venezuela, that these cars were to help people who are suffering there.
Meanwhile, the convoy hasn't been seen recently. Nobody has seen it being loaded or sent. It's been a sort of a mystical convoy. What has been seen is just seven vehicles, which are meant to feed entire Venezuela. It's unknown what's inside of these cars. They were immediately corralled into a closed area. There, they are being unloaded with no journalists being let in. We see it with our own eyes. It's unclear what's inside of these cars.
Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela, says, he won't let these cars enter his territory, as he's not certain if it's a genuine humanitarian convoy instead of some kind of provocation. Again, at the border, we see that the Venezuelan authorities have placed barriers. They are using truck trailers to barricade the border not to let the humanitarian convoy in from the territory of Columbia.
Everything looks like provocations may happen any time soon. That's what Russian MFA's representative, Maria Zakharova, has been talking about.
MARIA ZAKHAROVA, MFA OF RUSSIA: «According to the mass media reports, in the town of Cúcuta, in the region on the border with Venezuela that has been recently visited, (I'd like to emphasize this fact) by high-ranking American military officers, a joint control station of the so-called humanitarian operation is being organized. If we call things by their proper names, which is done here regularly, it's just a humanitarian intervention. Judging by the activity of the American military delegations that have been literarily invading the region recently (they're supposed to be saving the Venezuelans and restoring democracy), a hard option of the power shift in Venezuela is being comprehensively worked out, including the logistic aspects of it».
This town is called Cúcuta. We're standing on its border now.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan MFA reported hackers attacks against the websites of their diplomatic missions in various countries. Unknown hackers have posted there a message supporting Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader. The diplomats decided against the online updates until the websites' security is restored.