The United States’ new foreign policy approach in Latin America goes against international law, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said after talks with his Cuban counterpart.
U.S. national security advisor John Bolton has invoked the 1823 policy established by then-President James Monroe to warn other countries, including Russia and Cuba, against interfering in Venezuela. The Monroe Doctrine is widely seen in Latin America as a justification for U.S. armed intervention in the region.
“We spoke about Washington’s attempts to reshape the region as it wills in the spirit of a revived ‘Monroe Doctrine,’” Lavrov told reporters Monday following talks with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
“We naturally reject such approaches and will firmly defend the norms and principles of the UN Charter,” he said.
The U.S. and most other Western countries have thrown their backing behind Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who in January invoked the constitution to declare himself interim president, arguing that President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 reelection was illegitimate.
Russia and China support Maduro, who has said Guaido is a puppet of Washington. Maduro retains control of state functions and the loyalty of the country’s military.
Venezuela’s economic crisis, which has caused shortages of food and medicine, has pushed millions of people to flee the country.
The Russian Foreign Ministry had earlier on Monday said that Moscow was ready to play a role in talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition in Oslo. However, it warned against any external powers trying to foist ultimatums on the Venezuelan leadership.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.