Russia Says U.S. Claim It Told Venezuela's Maduro Not to Flee Is Part of 'Information War'

The U.S. Secretary of State said that Maduro reversed his plan to leave the country amid street protests after Russia intervened.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guido is calling for an uprising Zuma/TASS

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday rejected a suggestion by Washington that it had persuaded Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro not to flee in the face of street protests, calling the assertion part of an information war.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was prepared to leave the country on Tuesday morning in the face of a call for an uprising by opposition leader Juan Guaido, but reversed his plan after Russia intervened, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a U.S. television interview on Tuesday.

"They had an airplane on the tarmac. He was ready to leave this morning, as we understand it. Russians indicated he should stay," Pompeo had said in a Tuesday interview with CNN.

When asked to comment on Pompeo's comments, Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Reuters they were part of an "information war." Moscow has previously accused the United States of trying to foment a coup in Venezuela, a close Russian ally, and of trying to demoralize the army by spreading potentially morale-sapping fake news. 

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