Maduro backs Ukraine’s deposed leader

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro voiced support for Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine. — AFP pic
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro voiced support for Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine. — AFP pic

CARACAS, March 8 — Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, facing protests at home, voiced support yesterday for the deposed president of Ukraine, saying he was the victim of a US-backed coup.

The new “de facto authorities” in Kiev threaten Ukraine’s unity, stability in the region and Russia’s sovereignty, Maduro’s office said in a statement.

Maduro, it said, “rejects the coup d’etat perpetrated by extremist groups in Ukraine, after a strategy of erosion promoted from outside by the US government and its NATO allies.”

Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted last month after a deadly crackdown on protesters angry at his decision to ditch a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow.

There have been four weeks of demonstrations in Venezuela against Maduro but analysts say his government still commands enough support to withstand the pressure. — AFP

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