Trump tells Russian Federation 'to get out' of Venezuela

Russia confirms its military personnel arrived in Venezuela

President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to "get out" of Venezuela following recent reports of Russian planes arriving in the country.

The United States on Monday accused Russian Federation of "reckless escalation" of the situation in Venezuela by deploying military planes and personnel to the crisis-stricken South American nation that Washington has hit with crippling sanctions.

Venezuela's political crisis exacerbated after opposition leader Juan Guaido claimed interim presidency with the support of dozens of nations. Some countries such as the United States and Germany recognize Guaido's claim, while others such as Russian Federation and China back Maduro.

But local electricity experts, as well as government critics allied with Guaido, said the outages were due to years of underinvestment and lack of maintenance as Venezuela's economy spiraled into a hyperinflationary collapse.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed Trump's demand, asking in return why U.S. troops were still in parts of Syria, where the Assad regime relies heavily on Russia support.

The United States condemned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's regime Wednesday, blaming it for attacks on opposition leader Juan Guaido's motorcade.

"Russia has to get out", Trump said sternly in the Oval Office in response to a question from a reporter, employing rare brevity.

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A picture of a Russian flagged aircraft posted on social media showed men in uniform clustered around it on the tarmac. The Russian personnel were involved in training and military cooperation with their Venezuelan counterparts.

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The U.S. was one of the first countries to recognize Guaido after he declared himself interim president based on Venezuelan laws allowing the head of National Assembly to take over the presidency if it is declared vacant.

Local media reports say two air force planes, carrying almost 100 Russian troops, landed outside Caracas. "All options are open".

Mr Maduro's time in office has been marked by economic collapse, hyperinflation and shortages of many basic goods and medicines. Rumors persist that the Trump administration is considering military intervention in support of the Guaido administration.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S.

Rosales also plans to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the Venezuelan diaspora at a prominent Washington think tank.

Last month, Guaido broke a travel ban and met with Vice President Mike Pence in Colombia, toured South America and sat down with a half dozen heads of state as he sought to drum up regional and global support.

"We can say that by now the electricity has returned to homes of the overwhelming majority of Venezuelan population, but we should understand that our struggle continues", he stressed.

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