Venezuela opposition leader to police: Leave my family alone

Feb 03, 2019, 01:38
Venezuela opposition leader to police: Leave my family alone

Maduro will also hold a rally on Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first inauguration of his predecessor, the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, which took place in 1999.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro proposed early parliamentary elections on Saturday, seeking to shore up his crumbling rule after a senior general defected to the opposition and tens of thousands thronged the streets in protest at his government.

Maduro has told Russian Federation media that he was ready to talk to the opposition but said he would not agree to new elections.

"We've been working years to try and open up that humanitarian aid that we need for Venezuela", he said.

Guaido swore himself in as interim president on January 23 in a direct challenge to Maduro's rule and quickly won the backing of countries in the region, but still has no control over state institutions or any functions of day-to-day governance.

Washington and its Western allies formally recognised Guaido as interim head of state last week and the European Parliament followed suit on Thursday.

Vice President Mike Pence on Friday met with exiled Venezuelans in Miami, reassuring them the Trump administration would continue to weaken Maduro.

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Guaido argues that Maduro's re-election a year ago was rife with fraud, and he has invoked two articles of Venezuela's constitution which he argues give him the right to assume presidential powers. For too long the people of Venezuela have suffered under the heavy hand of oppression but now there is hope.

"Let me be very clear: this is no time for dialogue".

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.

As Nicolas Maduro, the authoritarian ruler, tries to stave off mounting worldwide pressure to relinquish power, the fate of those gold bars has become a cause of great concern both in Venezuela and overseas.

Former bus driver Maduro came to power in 2013 as a hand-picked successor when Chavez died.

In a brief phone conversation with The Associated Press the officer confirmed, from a Colombian number, the veracity of his declaration and said he would not provide further statements until given authorization by "the commander-in-chief of the legal armed force which is President Juan Guaido".

The US on Thursday urged all European countries to recognize Guaido, but Maduro has told the "imperialists" to wait until 2025 for new elections.

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The United States on Monday imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm, aimed at pressuring Maduro to step down.

'We are around the corner from freedom, ' Espinoza said, banging on a pot and wearing a Venezuelan flag.

Guaido said in an interview with VOA Noticias he had offered "amnesty and guarantees" to high-ranking military officials as part of a broader effort to get "this usurpation to end".

Guaido explained that aid for Venezuela will include life-saving medicines that are scarce in Venezuela and will be transported by vehicles arriving at several border points, after it is shipped into "friendly ports" in neighboring countries.

Although Arellano, along and his wife Mayra Lopez, left a year ago, they say the problems back home have only gotten worse.

"Power is evaporating from Maduro's hands with the passing of the hours", Sucre said.

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