Recognition of the rebel president in Venezuela is a prime example of Western disrespect for international law and sovereignty, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
“The example of events in Venezuela shows clearly how the progressive Western community actually treats international law, sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of states – by handpicking the government there,” Zakharova said on Facebook, after landing in Algeria on Thursday morning. Zakharova is accompanying Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on a trip to Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco this week.
On Wednesday, the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela, declaring elected government of Nicolas Maduro illegitimate. A number of US allies have followed suit, both in Latin America and Europe.
Maduro responded by severing diplomatic ties with the US and ordering all American diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours. Venezuela’s army has backed the government.
Guaido presides over Venezuela’s National Assembly, the legislative body elected in 2015. It was superseded in 2017 with the election of the Constitutional Assembly, but its lawmakers – backed by Washington – have refused to recognize that election as legitimate.