Russia to Wait for Guaido Departure before Sending Aid to Venezuela

Russia is waiting for the president of the National Assembly (AN) of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, to leave office before sending economic advisors to help the regime of his opponent and Moscow ally, Nicolas Maduro, Bloomberg writes.

Maduro is considered as the usurper of power by many of Venezuela’s population and more than 50 countries that support Guaido. The parliamentary speaker tried to overthrow Maduro by temporarily assuming the Presidency of the country in January 2019. Guaido’s popularity is shrinking and he could leave the post on January 5, when a vote is scheduled. 

If his mandate is not renewed, Russia will intensify its efforts to help Maduro officials face the economic crisis affecting the oil-rich Latin American country, Sergey Storchak, Russian Deputy Minister of Finance told Bloomberg.

Storchak, who heads a team of 12 people focused on Venezuela, said Russian initiatives to help alleviate the crisis had not been successful to date, because officials in Caracas were reluctant to implement changes without the support of the Assembly led by Guaido.

“I think the situation will begin to change in mid-January. I hope they share data with us so we can decide which specialists we should send,” said Storchak. “The main focus is on the oil sector. We have suggestions on eradicating administrative distortion, which they allowed to occur during nationalization,” he added.

He specified that the Maduro government also receives advice from Turkish and Chinese experts. Given the fact that Venezuela owes $3.15 billion to Russia, Moscow “works for itself”, offering assistance in economic development, Storchak explained.

Despite the fact that the United States and about 50 other countries recognized Guaido as acting head of state in January 2019, U.S. officials fear he might lose his post due to a record low approval rating of 38.9%, Bloomberg notes.