Global jostling intensified on Thursday between countries that want Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in power and those trying to force him to resign, as opposition leader Juan Guaidó made overtures to his rival’s allies Russia and China.
Guaido reported he had sent communications to both powers, which are Venezuela’s top foreign creditors and support Maduro in the U.N. Security Council despite worries about the cash-strapped country’s ability to pay.
The 35-year-old leader argued that Russia and China’s interests would be best served by switching the side they back in Venezuela, an OPEC member which has the world’s largest oil reserves but is in dire financial straits.
“What most suits Russia and China is the country’s stability and a change of government,” Guaido said. “Maduro does not protect Venezuela, he doesn’t protect anyone’s investments, and he is not a good deal for those countries.”
The intense pressure is led by the United States, which along with most other countries in the Western Hemisphere recognizes Guaido as the country’s legitimate interim president, arguing that Maduro stole his second-term election.
With Venezuela in deep economic crisis, the geopolitical tussling has also drawn in Europe and Latin American nationsas well as parts of the Middle East.