Russia Defies U.S. Calls to Get Out of Venezuela by Thomas Grove – Wall Street Journal
Russia hit back against U.S. warnings over its support for Venezuela’s government, defending its arms trade with the Latin American country and promising to keep its military advisers there as long as President Nicolás Maduro deemed necessary.
The escalation in rhetoric Thursday came a day after President Trump called on Russia to get out of Venezuela and met with the wife of opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who in January declared himself interim president, drawing support from several Latin American countries and the U.S.
Mr. Maduro has vowed to stay in office and cut diplomatic relations with Washington. The Kremlin has thrown its support behind the embattled leader, adding another layer of tension between Russia and the U.S.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Vice President Mike Pence described Moscow’s continued backing of Mr. Maduro as an “unwelcome provocation.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters that Russia’s military advisers were in Venezuela to help fulfill Moscow’s defense contracts with Mr. Maduro’s government…