Pompeo urges Moscow in phone call to cease ‘unconstructive behavior’ in Venezuela

A woman waits for public transportation during a power outage that suspended the subway service in Caracas Venezuela Monday

Russia's involvement in the Venezuelan crisis has American officials crying foul as USA plans for regime change in the Latin American country are now facing further complications.

Russian Federation has warned the United States and neighbors against a military intervention in Venezuela.

Recent media reports said that two Russian military planes - an An-124 cargo plane and an Il-62 passenger jet - had landed in Venezuela carrying about 100 personnel. The next month, Russian Federation sent 400 mercenaries to Venezuela, a source told Reuters.

U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday and said "the United States and regional countries will not stand idly by" while Russian Federation takes steps to support its ally, Maduro.

The U.S. and dozens of other countries recognize Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate president, but Maduro has refused to step down and still holds control of the military.

Flightradar24, a flight-tracking site, showed the flight path Saturday of what is listed as a Russian air force plane flying across the Caribbean. It evoked condemnation from the Organization of American States, which comprises 35 countries in North and South America.

Russian Federation and China are the main allies of Venezuela.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in 2017 that the "military option" was on the table when it comes to Venezuela, but administration officials have since downplayed talk of armed intervention.

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"While the USA must continue to monitor Russia's activities and warn them against further escalation, this minor tactical move should not result in a strategic shift in policy".

More than US$30 billion were illegally diverted from Venezuela in two months, the country's communications and information minister has revealed, accusing the USA of orchestrating the operation.

Rodriguez accused Guaido's chief of staff, Roberto Marrero, of receiving money from the United States and being a key organizer of the alleged operation.

Guaido is supported by the United States and most Latin American and European nations but he retains the support of Russian Federation and China, US rivals who have offered political and economic support to him.

"They are isolated, alone, they are falling apart day by day", Guaido said.

The accusations were repeated shortly afterward by Maduro as he addressed a crowd of thousands of supporters in the capital.

Around $1 billion of the stolen funds from national assets in global banks was transferred to the personal accounts of opposition leaders, according to Communications and Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez.

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