Russia blasts Trump’s ‘unconvincing’ denial of US plot to oust Venezuela President Maduro

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned in a statement that “mercenary actions deserve punishment without palliatives.” Venezuela’s government said it had arrested two American citizens on Monday on suspicion of plotting to oust Nicolás Maduro’s government.

The detentions came a day after officials said they curbed an “invasion” from the sea, killing eight assailants and detaining two others.

But Trump responded: “We’ll find out. We just heard about it. But it has nothing to do with our government.”

Now Russia has said on Wednesday that the US’ efforts to deny the alleged operation against the Venezuelan regime after two US citizens were detained in the country did not seem “convincing”.

“Washington’s declaration in which the US government does not have anything to do with what happened in Venezuela over the past few days does not seem convincing,” said the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

Venezuelan authorities announced on Monday the detention of fifteen people, two of which were American citizens and presented as “security force members” in the Tump administration.

Luke Alexander Denman and Airan Berry have been accused of plotting to “invade” Venezuela by sea.

“Mercenary actions deserve an unconditional and resolute conviction,” said the Russian official.

He highlighted the “unacceptable character of warfare methods to resolve political differences”.

Russia, one of Venezuela’s main allies, asked that the country is given an opportunity to “resolve its problems in an independent and peaceful way, thanks to a widespread national dialogue, without dictates, ultimatums or sanctions”.

Venezuela’s president spoke on state television showing the passports of suspects Luke Denman, 34, and Airan Berry, 41.

He told the Venezuelan military high command that the men worked for the US security forces.

Attorney General Tarek William Saab earlier told reporters that “hired mercenaries” had signed a $212 million dollar contract with Mr Guaido using cash “stolen” from state oil firm PDVSA.

Mr Guaido received support of more than 50 countries – including the US – to become Venezuela’s acting president.

The US removed sanctions on PDVSA and allowed the opposition leader to use funds from frozen accounts belonging to the company’s Houston-based subsidiary Citgo.

Mr Saab said Guaido had signed a contract with Jordan Goudreau, a former US special forces soldier, connected in several press reports last week to a purportedly failed attempt to oust Mr Maduro.

The Canadian-born Mr Goudreau, is accused of preparing a mercenary group to invade Venezuela.

It was reportedly dismantled after Colombian officials apprehended a weapons shipment meant for the force.

Mr Saab posted on social media a video of Mr Goudreau, who runs a private security firm, in which he states a plot against Mr Maduro’s regime is in progress.

Mr Guido’s team released a statement on Monday refuting the accusations and the claims that he has links with a private security firm.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Maduro launched a direct attack, claiming “Donald Trump is behind all of this.”

“Here is the contract. Here are the signatures … a contract for the invasion of Venezuela. A serious offense,” the authoritarian leader said, showing a Washington Post article which also claimed the plot was “a Bay of Pigs-style fiasco”.

Of the arrests, Mr Maduro said: “They came to Venezuela thinking the people would greet them like some kind of Rambos, with applause,

“But the Venezuelan people … captured them, tied them up, and the police had to intervene so there were no acts of violence against them.”

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