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Guaido calls for more protests as Maduro displays military might

Guaido calls for more protests as Maduro displays military might

Sen. Marco Rubio says the US will hit Venezuela's state-owned oil company with sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to step down from office.

"We have continued to expose the corruption of Maduro and his cronies, and today's action ensures they can no longer loot the assets of the Venezuelan people", Bolton said at a White House news conference.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido has called for demonstrations two days this week in his latest bid to sway the country's military to his side and away from leader Nicolas Maduro.

Speaking to CNN Turk, Mr Maduro said Venezuela has held numerous elections of late - including presidential elections in May (which the United States and several Latin American nations did not recognise as legitimate) - and the European countries should withdraw their demand.

"Nobody gives us an ultimatum", Maduro said. President Nicolas Maduro played up their symbolic importance during an address broadcast across the country.

Venezuela is very reliant on the USA for its oil revenue.

Bolivia, Cuba, Turkey and Russian Federation, among others, have not followed suit and continue to back Maduro as the rightful president, accusing the US and others of interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions prevented Maduro from diverting more resources from the crisis-damaged country until control in Caracas could be transferred to an interim government or new democratically-elected government.




Francisco Gonzalez, a pro-government analyst, said that while Maduro's weakness and Venezuela's economic and social problems are self-evident, many in the country resent the heavy-handed role the Trump administration is playing in the fast-unfolding crisis.

In a sign output could rise further, US energy firms last week raised the number of rigs looking for new oil for the first time in 2019 to 862, an addition of 10 rigs, Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its weekly report on Friday.

"We are waiting for you and the commitment you have to our constitution", Guaido said.

He also rejected an ultimatum set by some European countries for fresh election in Venezuela, calling those countries "insolent".

As theWall Street Journal reported on Friday, Bolton, Pompeo, and Vice President Mike Pence were all key players in talks with the Venezuelan opposition that culminated in Guaido's decision last week to declare himself "interim president".

Freeland says Venezuela has been a top foreign policy priority for Canada.

A United Nations official said Friday that at least 20 people had been killed in protest-related violence last week, while the nongovernmental Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict on Friday pegged the tally at 29 since Wednesday night. Some 75 per cent of the country's cash-generating oil shipments go the USA, according to Barclays, but Mr Maduro retains the support of Russia, China, Turkey and Iran and is likely to divert shipments to them.

The first major military officer to publicly switch his support to Guaido was Venezuela's military attache in Washington, Army Colonel Jose Luis Silva.

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