Despite being out of the limelight for a while, the crisis in Venezuela is far from over.
On June 8th, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the reopening of several border bridges leading to Colombia.
The borders were closed after USAID, with assistance from the US-backed opposition led by US-Proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaido tried to enter unwanted aid into the country.
“In full exercise of our sovereignty, I have ordered the opening of the border crossings with Colombia in Tachira State, starting Saturday #8Jun. We are a people of peace who firmly defend our independence and self-determination,” Maduro said on Twitter.
En ejercicio pleno de nuestra soberanía, he ordenado la apertura de los pasos fronterizos con Colombia en el Estado Táchira, a partir de este sábado #8Jun. Somos un pueblo de paz que defiende firmemente nuestra independencia y autodeterminación.
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) June 7, 2019
Meanwhile, Maduro is set to meet with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet when she visits Venezuela between June 19th and 21st.
Her visit, at the invitation of the Maduro administration, comes ahead of the U.N. Human Rights Council opening a three-week session starting June 24th.
“Bachelet will engage with victims of human rights violations and abuses and with their relatives. She will also interact with civil society representatives, members of the business community and trade unions, religious leaders and academics,” her office’s statement said.
Maduro is also expected to visit Moscow and meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin soon.
On the side of US-Proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaido the usual rhetoric of usurpation and calls for Maduro to give up power continue, but the opposition is practically running on fumes right now.
Regarding the US, it appears that US National Security Adviser John Bolton is the only high-ranking official still being vocal about Nicolas Maduro. Even US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who were also quite vocal about the issue have no focused to the new flavor of the month: Iran.
Regardless, John Bolton alleged that Venezuela had signed a $209 million defense contract with Russia and Maduro had mismanaged the country’s funds.
Maduro has grossly mismanaged Venezuela’s resources. In May, while hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans went hungry, Maduro gave Russia $209 million for a defense contract to buy their continued support. Venezuelans want true democratic leadership, not repression.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) June 16, 2019
He further claimed that Guaido continued to rally people across the country, but much doubt surrounds that statement.
Throughout Venezuela, Interim President Guaido continues to bring Venezuelans together in support of the fight for prosperity and freedom. The United States stands firmly with the people of Venezuela and Juan Guaido. pic.twitter.com/nLAFwy0bbT
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) June 15, 2019
In response to the defense contract claims, Russia’s Ambassador to Venezuela, Vladimir Zaemsky dismissed Bolton’s claims.
“This is another fiction, which Bolton apparently needs to maintain the illusion that Venezuela is an imaginary threat, and Russia, of course, is to blame,” Zaemsky said.
Bolton, a few days earlier alleged that Maduro had mismanaged funds and caused millions of Venezuelans to leave the country, then saying that Guaido was the way to go.
Maduro’s callous mismanagement and inability to govern has driven millions to flee Venezuela. Now the regime allows food to go to waste while families go hungry, and Venezuelans suffer in days-long lines for basic needs.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) June 7, 2019
Interim President Juan Guaido and the National Assembly offer unity and democracy to begin the path toward restoring Venezuela to democracy and prosperity. The world must work with President Guaido to prevent the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela from worsening. https://t.co/CW9V9es99Y
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) June 8, 2019
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza also slammed Bolton’s statements.
“We reject @AmbJohnBoltons absurd, false, malicious & perverse statements today on Venezuela. It’s no surprise that he has failed in every step he’s taken. He completely ignores the country’s reality. A man stuck in the anachronic Cold War,” Arreaza tweeted
“Even worse, by threatening Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, @AmbJohnBolton clings to the ancient Monroe Doctrine of over 200 years ago. He doesn’t understand that the free people of Our America own their destinies in the context of a multipolar world. He needs a History adviser!”
“Mr. @AmbJohnBolton should consult Mr.@SecPompeo, he can explain that the scorpions attacking eachother are in the Venezuelan opposition. Worse yet, the Nat’l Security Advisor seeks terrorists and paramilitaries on the wrong side of the Colombian border,” he added.
But it would appear that the pressure on the Maduro government may not be at its end, as European leaders are considering sanctions against it, the Associated Press reported.
The financial and travel restrictions are being mulled by a core group of five nations — U.K., France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands — before being proposed to the European Council. These rumors are based on anonymous diplomats and Venezuelan opposition members.
“Our priority is not to impose new sanctions. But neither is it to relax pressure on members of the Venezuelan government,” said a Spanish foreign ministry official. “The primary focus at the moment is the dialogue in Norway.”
The Venezuelan opposition is currently running out of steam and it is primarily the US-imposed blockade that keeps it going, and propagating the crisis in the country.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- MSM Claims That Russian Personnel Leaving Venezuela Appeared To Be Fake News
- US Suspends All Passenger And Cargo Flights to Venezuela