Reuters Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela
Mar 29, 2019, 06.40 PM
Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido told a crowd of supporters on Thursday that the government of Nicolas Maduro had paid Russia "in gold" for military presence in the oil-producing nation.
"A small group of troops who still support him (Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro) it's (Russian military presence) to make that small group of troops who still support him, believe - and I repeat it again so that it's clear - 'Look, look, we have the support of the Russians!' That's a lie! They had to pay ahead - because they have a reputation (for not paying) - with gold so that (troops) would be sent in an irresponsible way, requested by this regime," Guaido said.
The arrival of two Russian air force planes outside Caracas on Saturday believed to be carrying nearly 100 Russian special forces and cybersecurity personnel has escalated the political crisis in Venezuela.
Russia said on Thursday they were "specialists" sent to Venezuela under a military cooperation agreement and were staying put.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to pull its troops from Venezuela and said that 'all options' were open to make that happen.