Published: Thu, January 31, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

USA talking to Venezuela's Maduro regime over embassy: envoy

USA talking to Venezuela's Maduro regime over embassy: envoy

"Interim President Guaido thanked President Trump for the United States' commitment to freedom and prosperity in Venezuela and the region, and noted the importance of the large protests across Venezuela against former dictator Maduro, set to occur today and Saturday", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro sought to rally support from the military in Caracas.

WASHINGTON, Jan 30 - White House National Security Adviser John Bolton underlined USA pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday, telling bankers, brokers and traders not to deal in the country's commodities that he said were "stolen" from the Venezuelan people.

Washington has thrown its full backing behind Guaido's claim to lead Venezuela, but hard-left leader Maduro, who still controls the military and police, says Guaido is part of a US-led coup plot.

Guaido called for more protests on Wednesday and a mass march at the weekend, to keep up pressure on Maduro in the streets.

"Don't shoot people who are making demands also for your family", Guaido said in a message to the military delivered from the central university in Caracas.

Maduro said that if the U.S. and others wanted a fresh vote, they would have to wait until 2025. "Not just in protest of the crisis we are living in all of Venezuela, not just because of how bad things are, but also for the future".

He accused the "oligarchy" in neighboring Colombia of being behind an attempt by military deserters to drive a wedge between him and the armed forces - which are key to his hold on power.

Guaido, an opposition lawmaker who is president of the National Assembly, has been recognized as president by the United States and most Western Hemisphere nations.

In an interview with Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti, Maduro said, "If something happens to me once, Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will be responsible for everything what happens to me".

In response to Guaido's invitation to army officers to join his cause in return for an amnesty, Maduro has made daily visits to troops, whose pledges of allegiance are televised.

"I'm going out now more than ever", said Sobeia Gonzalez, 63.

Speaking at the walkout, Guaido said he wasn't losing any sleep over the probe.

Maduro refused to comment on reports last week that Kremlin-linked private military contractors were dispatched to boost his security detail, saying he "cannot say anything about it".

Maduro has said such assistance would be the first step toward a U.S. military intervention. Pence said they discussed recent sanctions actions, "highlighting that these deprive Maduro and his cronies access to corrupt income and. preserve the country's wealth for the people of Venezuela".

Mexico and Uruguay on Wednesday announced they would convene an global conference for countries and bodies with a "neutral position" to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela.

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