Maduro rallies military as Venezuela opposition plans protest

31 January, 2019, 05:25 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • Venezuela targets Juan Guaido with probe, travel ban and asset freeze in apparent retaliation for US sanctions

Dozens of nations, including most countries in the Western Hemisphere, have recognized Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela and no longer conduct relations with the country through Maduro.

Guaido is prohibited from leaving the country without permission from authorities "until the end of the investigation", Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno said.

The US, a dozen Latin American nations and Canada recognised Gua-ido as interim president, while China and Russian Federation urged non-interference.

Mr Maduro accused Washington of staging a coup and pressed his case directly to the American people in a short video shot in the presidential palace.

Guaido did not respond to the dialogue offer, which drew a tweet from Trump, who said Maduro's move came only after increased U.S. pressure on the Venezuelan government and economy.

In an interview with Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti, Maduro reiterated that he was ready for talks with the opposition "for the sake of peace and its future", with the participation of global mediators.

He said the looking to get its hands on Venezuela's abundant oil reserves, replicating US military interventions in Iraq and Libya.

The European Union, US and many Latin American countries joined the opposition in dismissing the legitimacy of the election Maduro won in May - one boycotted by the opposition.

Maduro also accused the US president of ordering a hit on him from Colombia.

"Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me", Maduro told RIA.

Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek Saab sought the preliminary investigation of Guaido on the basis that he had helped foreign countries interfere in internal matters.

The United States has refused to rule out military intervention in Venezuela and Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton was even photographed on Monday at the White House holding a notepad with the scrawled line: "5,000 troops to Colombia".

The court is stacked with Maduro loyalists. Guaido's proclamation came after the opposition-controlled National Assembly declared Maduro's second term "illegitimate".

"Over the past three or four years, as Venezuelan production has plummeted, we've seen a tightening of the heavy oil market and we think Canadians have benefited in that the price difference between light and heavy globally has tightened", he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has certified that Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido has authority to take control of bank accounts that Venezuela's government has in the Federal Reserve Bank of NY or any other U.S. -insured banks.

He added the threat of USA sanctions, including cutting off Venezuelan oil revenues, contributed to the apparent softening of Maduro's stance.

The oil-rich country is already reeling from a deep economic crisis that has pushed millions into poverty and driven 2.3 million more to migrate. Trump added that the leader of the opposition, National Assembly President Juan Guaido, is "being targeted by Venezuelan Supreme Court".

The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, said Americans shouldn't travel to Venezuela, warning of unrest, the threat of being arbitrarily arrested and mass demonstrations unfolding with little notice.



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