U.S. claims that Russia told Venezuela's Maduro not to flee is 'information war,' says Moscow
CGTN

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday rejected claims by Washington that Moscow had persuaded Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro not to flee in the face of street protests, calling them part of an "information war."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a television interview that Maduro was ready to leave the country on Tuesday morning after a call for an uprising by opposition leader Juan Guaido, but reversed his plan after Russia intervened.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, said the remarks were part of an "information war." 

Damage is seen during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela in this picture obtained from social media, April 30, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Damage is seen during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela in this picture obtained from social media, April 30, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Moscow has previously accused the United States of trying to foment a coup in Venezuela, and of working to demoralize the army by spreading potentially morale-sapping fake news.

Maduro appeared in a state television broadcast on Tuesday night together with Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, and announced that the opposition's attempted coup was defeated.

Earlier, Guaido said he had the support of troops to oust Maduro.

But world leaders urged restraint and a political settlement between Venezuela's political parties.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for "maximum restraint" in Venezuela to avoid violence and restore calm.

"The secretary-general urges all sides to exercise maximum restraint and he appeals to all stakeholders to avoid any violence and take immediate steps to restore calm," Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a daily briefing.

A Venezuelan National Guard (GNB) vehicle ploughs into opposition demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela in this still image taken from video footage, April 30, 2019. /Reuters Photo

A Venezuelan National Guard (GNB) vehicle ploughs into opposition demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela in this still image taken from video footage, April 30, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Also on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Venezuelan crisis should be resolved via a responsible negotiation process without preconditions.

"We call on all sides to renounce the use of violence. It is important to avoid disorder and bloodshed," the statement read.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the coup attempt, tweeting, "As a country which has experienced the negative consequences caused by coups, we condemn the coup bid in Venezuela."

The United States, the first country to recognize Guaido as Venezuela's leader and one that openly seeks to depose Maduro, has renewed its support to the Venezuelan opposition.

(With input from agencies)

(Cover: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a broadcast with members of the government and military high command members at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, April 30, 2019. /Reuters Photo) 

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