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Trump says Russia pulled its people from Venezuela

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at Joint Base Andrews Air Force Base Sunday June 2, 2019, in Maryland, and depart on Air Force One en route the UK, FRA, and IRE. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead/Released)
June 03, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that Russia told the United States it had removed most of its people from Venezuela.

The United States backs opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela and has stepped up economic sanctions to help drive President Nicolas Maduro from power.

Russia supports Maduro, who has said Guaido is a puppet of Washington.

“Russia has informed us that they have removed most of their people from Venezuela,” Trump, who is on a state visit to Britain, wrote on Twitter. He did not elaborate.

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Early last month Trump said he focused on humanitarian aid for Venezuelans during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Most other Western countries also support Guaido, who invoked the constitution in January to declare himself interim president, arguing that Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate.

(Reporting by Tim Ahman in Washington; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Marguerita Choy)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters