Private military security has been reportedly sent to Venezuela to protect the President Nicolas Maduro.
There could be up to 400 Russian security contractors in Venezuela, according to Yevgeny Shabayev – The leader of a paramilitary group of Cossacks. The Russian government however, has claimed they have no information of this occurring. The security personnel are said to be affiliated with Wagner group, whose members are mainly ex-service personnel.
The international community is divided over this matter; with many supporting the opposition leader Juan Guaidó, while others pledge support to Maduro. The US is the leading the charge for opposing President Maduro, and have officially recognised Juan Guaido as the country’s head of state.
Thousands of people are taking part in protest marches and the US government shows huge support against Maduro. It therefore comes as little surprise that Russia would send Maduro support. Venezuela is one of Russia’s closest allies in South America.
Last August there was a direct assassination attempt on President Maduro where drones carrying explosives detonated during a speech at a Military event. Maduro has blamed the American government directly.
Who is on either side?
China and Russia have both chosen to pledge the support for Maduro and have attacked the US for it’s involvement politically towards Venezuela. Vladimir Putin has said the US has caused “destructive interference from abroad.” The huge crisis in Venezuela has caused a huge divide, with the US, Europe and many South American countries on one side – Russia, China and a handful of countries on the other. It is unlikely that any other countries will use direct military involvement any time soon as there is such a huge divide between powerful nations.
Russia has been supporting the Venezuelan government, sending Billions of dollars to the country. Russia has also been carrying out military exercises in the country which has further bolstered the relations between the two countries.