USA and Russia discuss Venezuela crisis in Rome

Maduro has been condemned by nations across the world as Venezuela's crisis spirals further out of control. Photo credit: Presidencia El Salvador

ROME - Delegates from the White House and the Kremlin were meeting Tuesday in the Eternal City to discuss the current crisis in Venezuela and mediate the situation.

 US special envoy Elliot Abrams and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov were scheduled to convene with Pietro Benassi, Conte’s diplomatic advisor.

 Speaking to La Stampa before the summit, Ryabkov stated: “Our positions on the current crisis are diametrically opposed, but there is no reason not to talk to one another”.

 Of particular importance to discussions was the possibility of military intervention, which Russia firmly opposes, and the economic and political pressures that the two countries are currently placing on the country.

 In recent months, Venezuela has been gripped by a crisis so great that its inflation could his 10 million per cent in 2019 if International Monetary Fund estimates are to be believed.

 Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country, while those who remain face food, water, and medication shortages as well as regular blackouts. 

 In recent weeks too, violent clashes between the military and protestors have led to civilians being shot dead as they attempted to keep Venezuela’s border with Brazil open to allow for aid to pass freely.

 Nations around the globe have since weighed in on the situation as a resolution still appears a long way off.

 Rome was chosen as the location for this discussion due to Italy’s unique position on the crisis. While the government has followed the European Union’s official line on the Venezuelan situation, it has stopped short of formally recognising Juan Guaidó’s self-proclaimed presidency.

 There is also a community of around 500,000 Italians living in Venezuela, which leaves Italy with a strong sense of duty to the Latin American nation.