Venezuela’s Guaido urges supporters to protest on Monday

Minnie Murray
March 4, 2019

Maduro says Guaido is part of a US -backed plot against him and that a failed attempt by the opposition to bring aid into Venezuela from Brazil and Colombia last weekend was a political stunt.

The Treasury Department sanctioned six Venezuelan security officials earlier on Friday, whom it said were "obstructing" humanitarian aid deliveries last weekend.

At least two people were killed and many more injured in a standoff last weekend when Maduro sent troops to the border of Venezuela and Brazil to block a shipment of United States aid.

"I'm announcing my return home from Ecuador", Guaido said after meeting its president, Lenin Moreno.

Maduro still controls the military, state institutions and Petroleos de Venezuela, which provides 90 per cent of the country's export revenue.

While members of the Venezuelan military have prevented USA aid from entering the country, they might also defend the Russian shipments.

Meanwhile, Russia is vowing to counter any attempts to meddle in Venezuelan domestic affairs as it pledges its support of the Maduro regime.

Guaido wants Maduro to quit, saying Venezuela can then emerge from its political and humanitarian crisis with worldwide support.

Washington's proposed resolution was changed from its initial text to include that word several times, including calling "for the start of a peaceful political process leading to free, fair and credible presidential elections".

"The US administration thus confirms its aim to harm patriots in the military who act in support of Venezuela's constitution, sovereignty and territorial integrity", the ministry added, TASS news agency reported.

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez, right, and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country's rightful interim ruler, shake hands during a meeting at the Lopez Palace in Asuncion, Paraguay, March 1, 2019.

United States envoy to Venezuela and regime change enthusiast Elliott Abrams offered no specifics on the US's further plans to oust President Nicolas Maduro, but warned that "dictatorships come to an end".

Russia is ready to take part in bilateral talks with the United States over the issue of Venezuela, Russia's foreign minister told his US counterpart late on Saturday.

The Trump administration recognized Guaido as the nation's "interim president" on January 23, days after Maduro was inaugurated for a second term as president. "I think that if he were arrested on his return we would see a very large reaction on the part of the Venezuelan people and on the part of the global community".

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