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委内瑞拉情势紧张 发现俄罗斯雇佣兵身影


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01/25/2019

委内瑞拉情势紧张 发现俄罗斯雇佣兵身影



Government of Venezuela [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

委内瑞拉政治危机与时俱增,星期五,自我宣布代总统的瓜伊多和现任总统马杜罗两大阵营紧张对峙。与此同时,一些驻委内瑞拉的美国外交人员开始离开;另据路透社援引内部消息称,一些俄罗斯雇佣兵已经或者正在进入该国首都。在欧洲,西班牙正在推动欧盟27国在马杜罗不宣布重新大选的情况下承认瓜伊多为总统。

委内瑞拉的情势越来越紧急,根据路透社引据莫斯科的消息,一些在乌克兰和在叙利亚参与军事活动的俄罗斯准军事人员“最近”进入了委内瑞拉,更进一步的消息称,目前大约已有400名俄罗斯“民兵”部署在委内瑞拉。

路透社报道称,一些俄罗斯为克里姆林宫服务的参与海外军事行动的“安全人员”近日进入委内瑞拉首都,旨在保卫马杜罗总统安全。

路透社引据另外一个消息称,一些参加过乌克兰与叙利亚冲突的俄罗斯退伍军人,自委内瑞拉总统大选时,就已出现在委内瑞拉。

双方对峙

马杜罗周四在得到军方的支持后,再次在媒体前面揭露反对党在美国操纵下发动了“政变”,他不断重复:“我绝对不会放弃”。

委内瑞拉总检察长萨博宣布了据信亲政权的最高法院签署的法令,对反对党掌控的议会展开调查,调查的名义是反对党涉嫌“篡夺马杜罗的职能”。

年轻的议会主席、星期三自我宣布为代总统的瓜伊多则宣布他将公布一系列紧急措施。他说,“我们继续前进,一直到终结篡权者的权力为止,我们将成立临时政府,并将举行自由选举。”

瓜伊多,现年35岁,呼吁委内瑞拉人民继续上街抗议现政权。根据一家非政府组织,连续四日的示威游行已经造成26人死亡。

根据联合国高级难民署专员巴士莱女士,超过350人在本周遭当局拘捕,其中320人是在1月23日这天逮捕的。这位前智利总统呼吁各界立即协商,以化解一点即燃的危险气氛。

瓜伊多则暗示新政府可以给马杜罗留一条出路,包括可能的大赦。在被问及委内瑞拉总统马杜罗可否享有赦免权力的时候,瓜伊多表示,“任何选项都不排除,但是我们正严峻地面临未来,必须处理非常紧急的人道危机”。他表示可考虑特赦马杜罗,“他是一个公务员,但很遗憾他同时是一个独裁者,以及昨日委内瑞拉那么多受害者的责任人。”


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反对派掌控的议会1月15日宣布,所有不承认马杜罗政权的军人都可以获得特赦。巴西副总统建议开辟一个“疏散走廊”,让马杜罗得以在安全情况下出走。巴西目前已经正式承认瓜伊多为代总统。

星期五,情势紧张到了极点。美洲对话委员会主席石佛表示,平行地存在着两个政府是极其危险的。

瓜伊多已经得到美国、加拿大以及多个拉美国家的承认。但是,马杜罗显示他仍然有军队的支持。星期四,他感谢军人面临“政变”“临危不惧”。马杜罗还有北京和莫斯科的支持。他还表示,毫无疑问,特朗普想安插一个傀儡政府。

欧盟一直谴责马杜罗第二次当选总统不合法,正在起草一个共同宣言,呼吁委内瑞拉尽快组织一场新的大选,否则,根据布鲁塞尔传出的消息,已经有几个成员国敦促欧盟承认反对党领袖瓜伊多为委内瑞拉代总统。德国也宣布已做好准备,在欧盟协调框架下,如果委内瑞拉不能在最快的时间内宣布进行新的大选,柏林将承认瓜伊多的总统地位。

星期四,美国不顾俄罗斯反对,要求联合国安理会紧急开会,讨论委内瑞拉状况,俄罗斯反对的理由是不能干预委内瑞拉内部事务。

委内瑞拉危机发生在这个石油国家经济崩溃的时候,曾经以石油之国而繁荣的委内瑞拉,现在连食品和药品都很缺乏,目前,该国正经历着超级通货膨胀,通货膨胀率高达10000000%。

美国购买了委内瑞拉三分之一的原油。原油收入几乎占据该国96%的外汇来源,但是其产量掉落到每天140万桶。马杜罗称,他的敌人希望夺取委内瑞拉的石油储存,委内瑞拉是全球最大的石油储存国之一。

法新社引述专家分析,特朗普很可能采取措施,先冻结委内瑞拉资产,随后再对该国出产的石油采取办法制裁。

俄罗斯外长拉夫罗夫周五揭露美国针对委内瑞拉的政策如同美国对其他一些国家采取的一样,是一种“摧毁政策”。这位外长对俄罗斯文传社称,“我们看得很清楚,他们在呼吁政变”。






    
   
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01/25/2019

Exclusive: Kremlin-linked contractors help guard Venezuela's Maduro - sources

By Maria Tsvetkova, Anton Zverev

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Private military contractors who do secret missions for Russia flew into Venezuela in the past few days to beef up security for President Nicolas Maduro in the face of U.S.-backed opposition protests, according to two people close to them.

A third source close to the Russian contractors also told Reuters there was a contingent of them in Venezuela, but could not say when they arrived or what their role was.

Russia, which has backed Maduro’s socialist government to the tune of billions of dollars, this week promised to stand by him after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself president with Washington’s endorsement.

It was the latest international crisis to split the global superpowers, with the United States and Europe backing Guaido, and Russia and China urging non-interference.

Yevgeny Shabayev, leader of a local chapter of a paramilitary group of Cossacks with ties to Russian military contractors, said he had heard the number of Russian contractors in Venezuela may be about 400.

But the other sources spoke of small groups.

Russia’s Defence Ministry and Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not respond to requests for comment about the contractors. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We have no such information.”

The contractors are associated with the so-called Wagner group whose members, mostly ex-service personnel, fought clandestinely in support of Russian forces in Syria and Ukraine, according to Reuters interviews with dozens of contractors, their friends and relatives.

A person believed to work for the Wagner group did not respond to a message asking for information.

Citing contacts in a Russian state security structure, Shabayev said the contingent flew to Venezuela at the start of this week, a day or two before opposition protests started.




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CUBA CONNECTION?

He said they set off in two chartered aircraft for Havana, Cuba, from where they transferred onto regular commercial flights to Venezuela. The Cuban government, a close ally of Venezuela’s ruling socialists for the last two decades, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The contractors’ task in Venezuela was to protect Maduro from any attempt by opposition sympathizers in his own security forces to detain him, Shabayev said.

“Our people are there directly for his protection,” he said.


Venezuelan authorities said they had put down an attempted revolt on Monday by rogue military officers about a kilometer from the presidential palace in Caracas.

Maduro, the 56-year-old successor to Hugo Chavez, only takes to the streets in carefully-controlled situations, since crowds have barracked him in the past.

One of the two anonymous Russian sources, who is close to the Wagner group and fought in foreign conflicts where it was active, said the contractors first arrived in advance of the May 2018 presidential election, but another group arrived “recently.”

Asked if the deployment was linked to protecting Maduro, the source said: “It’s directly connected.” The contractors flew to Venezuela not from Moscow but from third countries where they were conducting missions, he added.

The third source, who is close to the private military contractors, said there was a contingent in Venezuela but he could not provide further details.

“They did not arrive in a big crowd,” he said.

Publicly-available flight-tracking data has shown a number of Russian government aircraft landing in or near Venezuela over past weeks, though there was no evidence the flights were connected to military contractors.

A Russian Ilyushin-96 flew into Havana late on Wednesday after starting its journey in Moscow and flying via Senegal and Paraguay, the data showed.

The aircraft, a civilian jet, is owned by a division of the Russian presidential administration, according to a publicly-available procurement contract relating to the plane.

Between Dec. 10 and Dec. 14 last year, an Antonov-124 heavy cargo aircraft, and an Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft, carried out flights between Russia and Caracas, flight-tracking data showed. Another Ilyushin-76 was in Caracas from Dec. 12 to Dec. 21 last year. All three aircraft belong to the Russian air force, according to the tracking data.












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