Some of the world’s most brutal authoritarian regimes, including Russia and Iran, affirmed their support for Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro after the United States and other democratic nations recognized Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate president.
On Wednesday, thousands of people took to the streets to rally behind the 35-year-old Guaidó, who was sworn in as Venezuela’s interim president after being appointed as head of the country’s National Assembly. The National Assembly, the federal lawmaking body, is the only remaining democratic institution in the country.
Guaidó’s appointment followed the far-left dictator Maduro’s extension of his presidential term for a further six years following fraudulent elections last year. Prior to protests this week, much of the free world rejected Maduro’s swearing in and refused to send representatives to it.
Reconocemos la actitud cívica de nuestro pueblo.
Hoy más que nunca necesitamos organización y reconocernos entre nosotros.
Hoy hemos logrado nuestro objetivo. ¡Vamos bien Venezuela! pic.twitter.com/4KjUv0tdGJ
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) January 23, 2019
Shortly after Guaidó took his own oath of office, the United States and over a dozen Latin American democracies including Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia announced that they would recognize him as president of Venezuela, sparking speculation that the regime may be on the brink of collapse.
At least 13 other nations have done the same:
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 23, 2019
The Maduro regime retained the public support of the country’s military – which he used to repress, imprison, and kill dissidents Wednesday night – as well as other authoritarian regimes including Russia, Iran, and Turkey, all of whom have developed close ties with Venezuela in recent years through economic, financial, and even military support. The Chinese Communist Party appeared to support Maduro in Foreign Ministry remarks Thursday, but refused to give a “yes” or “no” answer when directly asked whether it recognized Maduro as president of Venezuela.
“Signals coming from certain capitals indicating the possibility of external military interference look particularly disquieting. We warn against such reckless actions, which threaten catastrophic consequences,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“We view the presumptuous actions of Washington as another demonstration of its total disregard for the norms and principles of international law and an attempt to play the self-assumed role of arbiter of the fate of other peoples. There is an obvious wish to apply in Venezuela the time-tested scenarios of toppling unwelcome governments,” it continued.
Look at the long & growing list of nations who recognize the legitimacy of President Guaido in #Venezuela.
Now compare that to the ones who still openly support Maduro:
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 24, 2019
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying affirmed that any “opposes external intervention in Venezuela. We hope that Venezuela and the U.S. can respect and treat each other on an equal footing, and deal with their relations based on non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.”
Similar sentiments were expressed in Turkey. Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Maduro Turkey would continue to support him.
“My brother Maduro! Stand tall, we stand by you!” Erdogan reportedly told Maduro. “Under the leadership of Pres. Erdogan, Turkey will maintain its principled stance against all coup attempts. #WeAreMADURO.”
Cumhurbaşkanımız, Venezuela Devlet Başkanı Nicolas Maduro’yu arayarak Türkiye’nin desteğini ifade etti ve “Maduro kardeşim! Dik dur, yanındayız” dedi.
Türkiye, CB’mız Erdoğan’ın liderliğinde bütün darbe girişimlerine karşı ilkeli duruşunu koruyacaktır. #WeAreMADURO
— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) January 23, 2019
During remarks Wednesday, Maduro claimed that Erdogan had issued a private phone call to him ensuring him that the Turkish government would oppose any attempt to re-establish the democratic order in Venezuela.
On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters that the “Islamic Republic of Iran supports the government and people of Venezuela against any sort of foreign intervention and any illegitimate and illegal action such as attempt to make a coup d’etat.”
The regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, a proxy of the Iranian regime, has also come out in support of Maduro, accusing the United States of “flagrant” intervention in Venezuela because of its support for Guaidó.
“The Syrian Arab Republic condemns in strongest terms going to extremes by the US and its blatant interference in the affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which constitutes a flagrant violation of all international norms and laws and a brazen attack against the Venezuelan sovereignty,” Syria’s Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said Thursday, according to the Syrian government news agency SANA.
The Palestinian Authority also issued a statement condemning “direct intervention of some countries in the internal affairs of Venezuela by supporting an attempted coup against President Nicolás Maduro” on Thursday.
Maduro has endeavored to maintain close relations to the Islamic world, particularly the terrorist organization Hezbollah and Erdogan’s regime in Turkey, considered the world’s most prolific jailer of journalists. Predecessor Hugo Chávez first began developing relations with the Iranian regime during his tenure to ensure support for Islamist autocracies in the future.
In Latin America, Maduro also retains the strong support of left-wing regimes in Cuba, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, as well as the new left-wing government in Mexico, all of whom fear they may be on the brink of losing a socialist ally in the now largely conservative-governed continent.
“The Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns and rejects the attempt to impose, through a coup d’état, a puppet government in the service of the United States in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and expresses its unwavering solidarity with the Government of the constitutional president Nicolás Maduro Moros,” Cuba’s communist regime wrote in an editorial for the state propaganda outlet Granma.
“The true objective of the actions against Venezuela is to gain control the vast resources of that sister nation and destroy the value of its example, as an emancipatory process and as a defense of the dignity and independence of Our America,” it continued.
On Thursday, Maduro himself responded to the ongoing events, claiming that his government does “not accept that imperialism imposed on Venezuela through governments by extra-constitutional means.”
No aceptaremos que imperio alguno nos imponga gobiernos por vías extra constitucionales. En Venezuela prevalecerá el respeto a la voluntad del pueblo, a la Constitución y la Soberanía. ¡Venceremos! pic.twitter.com/KwxIeAxnpO
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) January 24, 2019
“We will defeat them,” he declared.