Euro MPs back interim leader in Venezuela

Venezuela's National Assembly head Juan Guaido speaks to the crowd during a mass opposition rally against Maduro in which he declared himself the country's 'acting president, in Caracas on January 23, 2019.

Almost two weeks after declaring himself acting head of state, Guaudi told supporters that "change in Venezuela is imminent".

Ellis said he didn't know what was aboard the two aircraft but that the flights are an indication that Russian Federation may be assisting Maduro's government in moving assets.

Maduro has described the protests as part of a US -led coup attempt and called on his supporters to organize their own march on Saturday in defence of his Bolivarian Revolution. Ahead of the rally, Maduro praised the Chavez-led "revolution" in tweet which showed the leftist leader during his swearing-in ceremony. Several EU countries came forward with support for the Venezuelan parliament and expressed hope for new elections to resolve the crisis. The suggestion was quickly seen as a bid to outmaneuver the opposition, which controls the country's legislature.

An "international contact group" announced on Thursday by the EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, "should help to cease the usurpation of power by Maduro and establish a transitional government until new elections", said Francisco Sucre, who heads the global committee of the opposition-led National Assembly.

Bolivia and Mexico continue to recognize Maduro.

Asked whether he has had any talks with Maduro, Guaido said simply: "No". The UN secretary general called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.

"People of Venezuela, 90 per cent of the armed forces of Venezuela are not with the dictator, they are with the people of Venezuela", Gen Yanez said in the video.

He also urged soldiers to allow the flow of aid into the country.


Guaido conceded in the comments that the "transition" to his rule would require support from certain key parts of the military. Valued at about US$850 million, they are an important source of wealth in a country that has plunged into extreme poverty under Maduro's leadership. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Maduro has described the protests as part of a USA -led coup attempt and called on his supporters to organize their own march on Saturday in defense of his Bolivarian Revolution. He says that the "international contact group" announced on Thursday by the EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, "should help to cease the usurpation of power by Maduro and establish a transitional government until new elections".

"And Nicolas Maduro would do well not to test the resolve of the United States", Pence added sternly.

"The time of democracy has arrived".

Mr Guaido told the Foreign Secretary he appreciated the support from the United Kingdom and said it was an important moment for Venezuela and the people of his country who have suffered for many years under the Maduro regime. He called on the civilians to "take to the streets and peacefully defend our president Juan Guaido".

Some Democratic senators also agreed it was a shocking sight.

"Let him leave!" he says in the video.

On its Twitter account, the high command accused the general of treason.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro appeared in public on Saturday for the first time since a military parade in August when he claimed to have been targeted in an attempted assassination. Mr Guaido has acknowledged "clandestine meetings" with members of the armed forces and security forces, who he is trying to woo with an amnesty offer.


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