Venezuela's self-proclaimed president Guiado speaks with Trump

Oscar PerryJan 31, 2019

Maduro, who has been successful in the past at dividing the Venezuelan opposition, asked the people of the United States to turn their backs on Trump and side with him.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin shared the view of the Venezuelan government that the sanctions were "illegal" and a tool of unfair competition on the part of the United States.

"If the USA intends to intervene against us they will get a Vietnam worse than they could have imagined".

"I am ready to sit down at the negotiating table with the opposition so that we can speak for the good of Venezuela, for the sake of peace and the country's future", the Russian news agency quoted Maduro as saying in an interview.

Venezuela's self-styled leader has called on the Bank of England to block the sale of £1billion in gold to the troubled South American country.

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

But the 32-member Supreme Court is loyal to Mr Maduro and moved quickly to open the investigation.

The 35-year-old opposition lawmaker, who is president of the National Assembly, wants new elections, arguing that Maduro fraudulently won a second term last year.

"We must take to the street", he said.

More than eight out of ten Venezuelans oppose global intervention, both military and non-military, in their country, as well as the crippling sanctions imposed by the United States to force leftist President Nicolás Maduro out of power.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified that Guaido had 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.

Elliott Abrams, the recently-appointed US envoy for Venezuela, said Washington was looking around the world for more assets of the Maduro government, including gold holdings and bank accounts. The Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions this week on Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state-run oil company, which actually bans Americans from buying Venezuelan oil.

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Maduro has been in charge since 2013 but his re-election in May was branded illegitimate by the European Union, United States and the Organization of American States. "I support what they're doing, but I don't like protests".

The protests were called to coincide with an historic date for Venezuelans, the anniversary of the 1958 coup that overthrew military dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez.

Last week, a group of soldiers rose up against Maduro.

At the same time, Nicolas Maduro dismissed the possibility of holding a new presidential poll any soon.

In a tweet Wednesday, Trump repeated a travel advisory from the State Department, telling US citizens not go to Venezuela.

A furious Maduro, 56, said Trump would have "blood all over his hands" if violence breaks out in Venezuela.

The warning comes as the Venezuelan crisis has escalated over the last few hours, with at least 40 demonstrators killed in anti-government protests and some 850 arrested, according to NGO figures.

When Maduro visited Moscow in December 2018, the two countries concluded agreements on cooperation in the oil and mining industries, maintenance of Venezuela's weapon systems and export of wheat to Venezuela.

"We will not allow a Vietnam in Latin America", Maduro declared.

"I want this government to go, it has been a total humiliation for the country", said Lucy Cordoba, 51, a government worker in the poor hillside town of Petare at the edge of the capital, where she said trash had not been collected for a year and water was scarce. State TV broadcast pictures of him with his military.

Venezuelan Bolivarian National Guardsmen line up near a Divine Mercy Jesus Christ poster outside the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 29, 2019.

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