Bolton warns Caracas about harming opposition leader

"Venezuela has risen up to dream of the country we want to be", said Guaido.

Russian Federation has denounced the opposition's "usurpation of power", calling Maduro the crisis-hit country's legitimate leader.

Maduro, sworn in on January 10 for a second term after elections previous year, accuses Guaido of staging a USA -directed coup against him.

John Bolton said in a tweet that there will be serious consequences for those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaido.

"What I asked President Putin is to maintain constant contact, provide support at the diplomatic and political levels at the United Nations and defend the truth of Venezuela internationally", he said.

She said Moscow and Beijing have grown wary of United States and European foreign interventions after their decisions to help topple the governments of Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.

With this protest Guaido is also stressing an offer of amnesty to military people who abandon Maduro, thus seeking to undermine a key pillar of the president's regime.

The sanctions announced Monday against PDVSA are created to interrupt the flow of oil money to the government of President Nicolas Maduro, putting pressure on him to step aside and allow opposition leader Juan Guaido to fill in as interim president.

On Monday, the USA imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, that could potentially deprive the Maduro government of 11 billion U.S. dollars in export revenues over the next year.

Millions have been left in poverty, while 2.3 million more have fled the country, unleashing a migration crisis in South America.


In an interview with the German daily Bild, Guaido called on European Union countries to impose additional sanctions on Maduro's government.

"While the general belief is that Canadian heavy barrels should benefit with the demise of Venezuela, the notional degree of market share up for grabs for Canada is not as large as for competing countries", they said.

Guaido is head of the opposition-controlled congress and declared himself the nation's rightful president under the constitution last week, hurling the nation into a new chapter of uncertainty.

Nevertheless, the Venezuelan leader said he remains ready to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in the United States, in Venezuela, or wherever Washington wants to hold discussions.

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

The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, said Americans shouldn't travel to Venezuela, warning of unrest, the threat of being arbitrarily arrested and mass demonstrations unfolding with little notice.

"I am sure that if we meet and talk, there will be a completely different story", Maduro said, adding that such a meeting, however, is unlikely to happen because Trump's team will do everything to prevent it.

Wednesday's protest was considered a crucial test for the reinvigorated opposition as it seeks to send a forceful message that Mr Maduro no longer has the people's backing and appeals to the military and the poor to shift loyalties that until recently looked solidly behind the president.

Over the last two nights, Venezuelans angry over their country's spiralling hyperinflation, and food and medical shortages have gathered in the streets banging pots and pans and setting up barricades in protest.


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