Foreign Secretary call with Juan Guaido: 30 January 2019

Minnie Murray
February 4, 2019

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said he was prepared to hold negotiations with the US-backed opposition and added he would support early parliamentary elections, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, Maduro threatened the Unites States government with another "Vietnam" if they made a decision to physically intervene into Venezuela.

The US, which backs Guaido, has warned of "serious consequences" if Maduro's government harms him.

Maduro also criticized the U.S. government as "childish" in conducting its foreign policy after U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton's notepad with words "5,000 (sic) troops to Colombia" evoked concerns.

The Supreme Court approved a request from Venezuelan Attorney-General Tarek Saab to open a preliminary investigation into Mr Guaido based on accusations he helped foreign countries interfere in internal matters. In a round-table discussion, he also heard from other Venezuelans refugees such as a former city councilman who says he was accused of being a Central Intelligence Agency agent.

Italian daily La Stampa asked Guaido in an interview in Caracas what the Vatican or the pope could do to avoid a worsening of Venezuela's political crisis.

Russian Federation and China, among others, back Maduro, who has said National Assembly head Guaido's self-declared claim to the presidency is an attempted USA -backed coup.

Maduro has been crisscrossing Venezuela overseeing military exercises and vowing to defend his socialist government no matter the cost.

"The English stole the gold in the Bank of England", Diosdado Cabello, the powerful No. 2 in Maduro's socialist party, said in a speech broadcast on state television this week.

Earlier in the day, Guaido said that European Parliament President Antonio Tajani had expressed his support for the National Assembly, adding that he appreciated the move.

Citizen Control, a non-governmental watchdog led by San Miguel, estimates that 180 members of the military were arrested in 2018, and some 10,000 members of the armed forces have left the service since 2015.

On Monday, the 27th of January, 2019, the USA administration had imposed a sweeping sanction on PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil firm, which used to export around 5,20,000 barrels of heavy crude per day to U.S. refineries.

"Maduro does not protect Venezuela, he doesn't protect anyone's investments, and he is not a good deal for those countries".

Threatened US sanctions on Venezuelan oil can ahead weaken the beleaguered country, but some economists say that there is already a better chance the Latin American country can collapse on its own.

Banners at the opposition rally read: "Get out dictator" and "Maduro usurper".

"It is obviously a very hard conversation to have with the US", she said.

Asked by CNN's Christiane Amanpour whether he would accept U.S. military support, he said through an interpreter: "Here in Venezuela we are doing everything we can to put pressure, so that we don't have to come to a scenario that no one would wish to have".

Pence is also meeting with community leaders, former elected officials and Florida senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott in the Miami suburb of Doral to talk about the South American nation's political crisis.

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