Venezuela: Guaidó Seeks Support from Russia, China as Maduro Gov't Remains Defiant

03 February, 2019, 01:35 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido speaks during an interview with Reuters in Caracas Venezuela

The rival marches will take place in different districts of a tense Venezuelan capital.

Maduro's critics also hope to encourage similar moves by European countries.

The United States, which immediately recognized Guaido's self-proclamation, along with a dozen Latin American countries, Canada and Australia, has warned Maduro of "serious consequences" if he targets opponents.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido called for demonstrations today to increase pressure on Maduro to resign.

Standing alongside his wife Cilia Flores, Maduro sung and rallied thousands of supporters that had come out to mark the anniversary of Chavez's socialist revolution.

Carrying Venezuelan flags and blowing horns and whistles, his supporters began massing at five locations around the city for a march on European Union headquarters in eastern Caracas.

"We are trying to restore the sovereignty of this country, to restore the liberty and democracy of Venezuela", he added.

A sea of people can be seen flooding a kilometers-long stretch of Bolivar Avenue in downtown Caracas to listen to Maduro's speech.

As of late Thursday, the 20 tons had yet to leave the central bank, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Similar talks in the past have failed, and opposition leaders have said Maduro uses them to stall for time.

Vice President Mike Pence held a roundtable discussion with exiles from Venezuela in South Florida on Friday, vowing to stand with them "until the suffering is over and freedom is restored" and reinforcing the Trump administration's support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó. If and when it comes, we will examine it.

Guaido said supplies of badly needed food and medicine will start entering from the Colombian border town of Cucuta.

"They don't have the resources or long-term strategic capacity to take a stand in Venezuela", Cardenas said.

Wigell noted the unconfirmed social media reports that the earlier flight on the Nordwind chartered aircraft brought Russian mercenaries to defend the Maduro regime. He said they had with them two AK-47 rifles, two satellite phones and 500 bracelets bearing the symbol of Operation Constitution, a political group dedicated to toppling Maduro.

The military's support is crucial for the embattled Maduro, who is deeply unpopular largely due to Venezuela's worsening economic crisis.

Previous negotiations all had the same "unsatisfactory result", Guaido wrote.

The uniformed man identified himself as Air Force General Francisco Yanez, before rejecting Maduro's "dictatorial and irritating authority" in a video circulating on Twitter. The person didn't know where the gold was supposed to go or the exact nature of the planned transaction, but the fate of the bars had become a cause of great concern both in Venezuela and overseas.

The last 10 days of political upheaval have exacerbated economic meltdown in Venezuela, which has the world's largest proven oil reserves but has suffered hyperinflation and shortages of basic necessities.

The embattled Nicolas Maduro regime halted plans to ship 20 tons of Venezuelan gold overseas as a growing worldwide push to ring-fence the country's dwindling hard assets unnerved those handling the transaction, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.



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