April 30, 2019 / 9:51 PM / 2 months ago

Maduro was ready to leave Venezuela but Russia convinced him to reverse course: Pompeo

FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony to mark the 17th anniversary of the return to power of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez after a coup attempt and the National Militia Day in Caracas, Venezuela April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was prepared to leave the country on Tuesday morning in the face of a call for an uprising by opposition leader Juan Guaido, but reversed his plan after Russia intervened, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a U.S. television interview on Tuesday.

“They had an airplane on the tarmac. He was ready to leave this morning, as we understand it. Russians indicated he should stay,” Pompeo said in an interview with CNN.

Reporting by Eric Beech and Makini Brice; Editing by David Alexander

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