Trump pledges continued aid for Venezuela; Maduro presents Putin with replica of Simon Bolivar’s sword

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Maxim Shemetov/Pool Photo via AP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW YORK, Sep 25, 2019, AP, TASS. President Donald Trump says the U.S. will stand with the Venezuelan people until they are freed from the “horrible and brutal oppression” of Nicolas Maduro’s “vicious” government, reported the AP according to the Miami Herald.

The Trump administration has announced it is more than tripling U.S. support for pro-democracy work in Venezuela and — for the first time — directly funding opposition leader Juan Guaidó as he tries to form a government to rival the socialist Maduro administration.

Trump joined other leaders in the hemisphere to discuss Venezuela Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

More than 50 nations now recognize Guaidó as the rightful leader, but he has not been able to grasp power from Nicolas Maduro, who is propped up by Cuba and Russia. Maduro is in Moscow on Wednesday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has presented his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin with a replica of the sword of the country’s national hero Simon Bolivar, reported the TASS.

“During the meeting with President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, I have presented him with a replica of the sword used by liberator Simon Bolivar in the Battle of Carabobo [the decisive battle for Venezuela’s independence from Spain in 1821 — TASS], as a token of gratitude for his support of Venezuela and respect towards sovereignty and self-determination of nations,” Maduro wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. The Venezuelan leader also published a video of him presenting the gift to the Russian president.

Maduro has deemed the meeting with Putin positive. “We have discussed a whole set of bilateral cooperation issues, pointing out new areas of expanding the system of cooperation and exchange between our peoples,” the Venezuelan leader said.

The Venezuelan president arrived in Russia on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in the Kremlin. During the meeting, the Russian leader noted that Moscow supports all legitimate bodies of Venezuela, namely, the presidential office, as well as the dialogue of Nicolas Maduro with the opposition.

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