Published: Wed, September 25, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Barrage of boos: Pro-Maduro lawmakers return to Venezuela assembly

Barrage of boos: Pro-Maduro lawmakers return to Venezuela assembly

Maduro on Monday insisted the assembly was still illegal, but said pro-government lawmakers would retake their seats as part of a deal struck with a small group of opposition delegates to promote dialogue.

Welcoming the leftist leader at the Kremlin, Putin reiterated support for Maduro but also indicated the Venezuelan president should be open to dialogue with his critics. "Nicolas Maduro's regime is bypassing USA sanctions through Europe".

On Monday, Maduro said that he was heading for Russian Federation in several hours.

Putin announced plans for Moscow to deliver 1.5 million flu vaccines in the near future to Venezuela and said Russian Federation was meeting its obligations to service military hardware it had sold to Venezuela. Despite the U.S. criticism over Kremlin's ties with Venezuela and hit out at a number of Washington's anti-Maduro moves, including the opening of a USA representative office for Venezuela in Colombia's capital, Russian Federation remains a friend for Venezuela.

The South American leader said Wednesday's talks were "very important".

Hit by low oil prices, mismanagement and the impact of U.S. sanctions, Venezuela is in freefall and Maduro is seeking support from allies after winning a second term in a controversial vote a year ago.

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Moscow has been one of Maduro's biggest backers in the face of what it has described as USA efforts to undermine him.

More than 50 countries have recognised Guaido as the rightful leader of OPEC-member Venezuela since the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January, arguing Maduro was illegitimate.

The oil-rich country suffers from hyper-inflation and shortages of basic goods from food to medicine, a crisis that has forced some 3.6 million people to flee since 2016.

The opposition and the United States consider Maduro's 2018 re-election fraudulent and say he has overseen an economic and political crisis.

"Russia has been an unwavering supporter of all legitimate authorities in Venezuela including the president", Putin said.

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