Putin on Guaido, who declared himself president ‘before God’

Elections and dialogue should be used to solve the crisis in Venezuela, Russia’s president has said, bringing up how opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself a president ‘before God,” but has yet to receive a response.

The long-term crisis in the South American country is very worrisome for Russia, as well as the repeated attempts to stir it up from abroad, Vladimir Putin said on Thursday at a joint press conference with Italy’s PM Giuseppe Conte.

Military intervention must be ruled out, but any political meddling must be ruled out as well, Putin said, explaining that the standoff between the legitimate, elected President Nicolas Maduro and self-styled ‘interim-president’ Juan Guaido is damaging to the very concept of democracy.

The opposition leader Guaido went into a square, turned his eyes up and, addressing god, proclaimed himself a president. But god did not tell us how he reacted to this address, no signal was sent.

No “divine intervention” can fix that, Putin stressed, calling for Guaido to return to “our sinful earth” and to stick to well-trusted mundane procedures – “dialogue and elections.”

Venezuela has endured a prolonged period of political and economic instability, fueled by internal issues and foreign – primarily US-led – pressure. The situation deteriorated rapidly early this year, when Guaido proclaimed himself an ‘interim president’ of the Latin American nation. The coup was eagerly supported by Washington and its allies, who recognized the new “president” and called upon the Venezuelan military and other officials to abandon the legitimate government in favor of Guaido.

Maduro, however, has so far managed to retain actual control over the country, as Guaido and his supporters failed both to incite mass defections among the military, a well as to gather large enough street protests to paralyze and topple the government.


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