Venezuela's Guaido lays out broad vision for the country

Venezuela's Guaido lays out broad vision for the country

The Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared interim president, Juan Guaido, accused state security forces of intimidating his family on Thursday.

A prominent Venezuelan lawmaker says that a group of European Union and Latin American countries aiming to solve the political crisis in Venezuela should support the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro without negotiations.

He retains support from powerful allies, including Russian Federation and China, but is growing increasingly isolated as more nations back Guaido. He is seeking to force him from power so he can set up a transitional government and hold new presidential elections.

Guaido said he was evaluating how to take control of state-run oil firm PDVSA's USA unit Citgo, Venezuela's biggest foreign asset, as the Trump administration tries to use the company as leverage to topple Maduro.

Venezuela is one of the four biggest suppliers of crude oil to the United States, which is one of the country's biggest buyers, taking in some 41 percent of all crude oil exports.

Opposition leaders believe Mr Maduro uses such talks to quell protests and stall for time, and have said they would only be interested in dialogue if it involved negotiations for Mr Maduro's departure.

John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, tweeted that "bankers, brokers, traders, facilitators, and other businesses" should not deal in any Venezuelan commodities that he alleged were being stolen by the "Maduro mafia".




President Tayyip Erdoğan has stood by his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, calling him last week to express support. But he is not the head of state for us, we do not recognize his status.

"We're in a historic battle", Maduro told several hundred troops standing in formation around armoured vehicles. Though this might serve as an excuse for the oft-threatened United States intervention, it would likely be disastrous for Venezuela's already struggling economy.

The military's top leadership is backing Maduro, though analysts warn that rank-and-file troops frustrated by their country's economic and humanitarian crisis may not share that unwavering loyalty.

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since January 10 when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.

Maduro also says the opposition strategy of trying to push him from office is illegal and led by hawks in the Trump administration, such as the recently appointed USA special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, a veteran diplomat involved in the armed interventions in Central America in the 1980s.

Guaido called the surprise visit "cowardly" and said it "crossed the red line".

"We have been contacted by diplomatic workers across Europe who are ready to take a step forward, but they are waiting for the right moment".

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