“The Americans have been maintaining sanctions pressure on Venezuela, limiting the country’s companies’ access to the international banking system, thus exacerbating the economic crisis” he said. “They thereby seek to spark popular discontent that could be used in order to stage a color revolution,” the expert added. “A direct military invasion by the US and its allies is also not out of the question,” Pshenichnikov said.

According to him, the reason for Washington’s policy is that “Venezuela has taken a strong anti-US stance and recognizes its dominating role in neither Latin American affairs nor on the international stage.” “Another reason is Venezuela’s cooperation with Russia,” the expert added.

Pshenichnikov stressed that the refusal to recognize the Venezuelan election’s results, expressed by the US and a number of Latin American countries, came as no surprise. He pointed out that at the Summit of the Americas held in Peru’s capital of Lima in April, 16 countries of the region signed a declaration saying that they would not recognize the outcome of the Venezuelan presidential election due to the non-transparency of the electoral process. Thus, in the expert’s words, “the US established an anti-Venezuelan bloc and paved the way for further actions aimed at exerting pressure on the country.”

Venezuela’s incumbent President Nicolas Maduro won the Sunday election, receiving over 5.8 mln votes, while his main rival Henri Falcon, representing the Progressive Advance party, garnered about 1.8 mln votes. Voter turnout was slightly more than 46%.

Falcon had refused to recognize the election’s results even before they were announced. Earlier in the month, the United States, a number of Latin American countries, as well as Spain, said they would not recognize the Venezuelan election’s outcome.