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US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday called on Russia to stop supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and said the arrival of Russian troops in Venezuela this weekend was an "unnecessary provocation."
Pence made the remarks at the White House, standing beside Fabiana Rosales, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.Guaido invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, saying Maduro's re-election was not legitimate.
"The United States views Russia's arrival of military planes this weekend as an unwelcome provocation," Pence told reporters.
Two Russian air force planes landed outside Caracas on Saturday carrying nearly 100 Russian troops. The US government believes the troops include special forces and cybersecurity personnel.
"We call on Russia today to cease all support of the Maduro regime and stand with Juan Guaido and stand with nations across this hemisphere and across the world until freedom is restored," Pence said.
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