Lavrov Slams Bolton’s ‘Insolent’ Charge that Venezuela Would Spark a New Cuban Missile Crisis
April 3, 2019 (EIRNS)—In an interview with the Russian daily Moskovsky Komsomolets, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he was certain that current events in Venezuela will not lead to another Cuban Missile Crisis in the region—notwithstanding “arrogant” threats by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and similar remarks by Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Lavrov rejected the charge that Russia is attempting to create “another Syria” in Venezuela. He characterized as “insolent and arrogant” John Bolton’s threats that the U.S. wouldn’t allow nations
“external to the Western Hemisphere” to have interests there. This was in response to the arrival of Russian military personnel in Caracas, as per a long-standing agreement for technical and military cooperation. Moreover, Lavrov said, it appears that Cuba and Nicaragua are next on the target list, TASS reported.
“What do they mean that countries external to the Western Hemisphere aren’t allowed to have interests there? What is the U.S. doing? Take a look at the map of the U.S. military bases—the entire world is dotted with red spots and each of them poses rather formidable risks.”
Lavrov reported that in his last phone call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he had explained the reason for Russian military personnel arriving in Caracas.
“There is a 2001 agreement signed by Hugo Chavez and ratified by the national parliament. We have transferred military equipment to Venezuela in accordance with this agreement. This requires maintenance. The time to carry out the maintenance has come. That’s it,”
Lavrov said, reported Sputnik.
He also stated that were there any U.S. attempt to intervene in Venezuela militarily the “overwhelming majority of Latin American nations would be adamantly opposed”—even those members of the so-called Lima Group that were demanding Nicolas Maduro’s immediate resignation and calling for snap elections. As soon as they heard the phrase “all options on the table,” they became “perplexed” and nervous, the Foreign Minister observed.