Trump administration accepts Guaido ally as Venezuela envoy in U.S.

In an interview that aired on Sunday, Maduro rejected a European ultimatum to call elections within eight days and said Guaido violated the constitution by declaring himself interim leader.

The 35-year-old took advantage of a major street demonstration last week to swear himself in as the country's rightful leader, accusing Maduro of usurping power following his 2018 re-election that was widely dubbed illegitimate. "We trust solidarity of Turkish nation and President Erdogan".

When asked about contacts with Guaido, he said there hadn't been any.

EU powers shifted toward the US position Saturday with envoys of the United Kingdom and Germany saying the European Union would recognize Guaido as interim president unless a new election is called within eight days.

Guaido reportedly told Skai he is concerned about Greece's hesitation to condemn Maduro and invited Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to visit the country to witness first hand the state of its economy.

"We are waiting for you, the soldiers of Venezuela".

Australia, meanwhile, said it "recognizes and supports" Guaido as interim president pending elections. They should take back this ultimatum. "And those arrogant, overbearing attitudes, looking down on us, because we are "sudacas", inferior to them", he told CNN Turk.

Countries around the world have recognised Guaido as Venezuela's rightful leader, and the United States vowed to starve Maduro's administration of oil revenue after he was sworn in January 10 for a second term that was widely dubbed illegitimate.

Oil constitutes close to 90 per cent of Venezuelan exports.

The deepening crisis comes as Pope Francis called for a "just and peaceful solution" to Venezuela's political crisis as he wrapped up a visit to Panama for a World Youth Day rally.

The warning didn't address specific groups or individuals, but Bolton noted in a linked tweet that Cuba's "support and control over Maduro's security and paramilitary forces" was well known.

"We expect U.S. crude oil prices to range between $50-$60 per barrel in 2019 and about $10 more per barrel for Brent", Tortoise Capital Advisors said in its 2019 oil market outlook.

Venezuela has sunk into turmoil under Mr Maduro, with food shortages and protests amid an economic and political crisis that has led millions to leave the country and with inflation seen rising to 10 million per cent this year.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that the new sanctions do not target the people of Venezuela and will not affect humanitarian assistance, including medicine and medical devices that are "desperately needed after years of economic destruction under Maduro's rule".

He accused Russian Federation and China of "propping up a failed regime in the hopes of recovering billions of dollars in ill-considered investments and assistance made over the years". "We will continue to evaluate the situation on the ground and determine appropriate action", the official said.