Venezuela's Juan Guaido won't rule out authorising US intervention
00:24, Feb 10, 2019
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On 4 February, the administration of Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, said that they would hold an global conference in Washington on February 14 to seek emergency humanitarian assistance.
"Venezuela won't allow the spectacle of fake humanitarian aid because we're no one's beggars", Maduro said at a press conference in Caracas. On Friday, Romania's president became the latest world leader to recognize Guaido as interim president nearly a week after other European Union countries did so.
Pentagon officials now say that they are having direct talks with the leadership of the Venezuelan military, and trying to convince senior officers to defect, either backing the US-backed Guaido or at least getting out of the way.
Venezuela is already experiencing mass hunger, and is likely to experience even greater difficulty importing food thanks to stepped-up USA sanctions.
More defiantly, the socialist president contends that the aid is part of a USA -led coup against him, with a goal to colonize Venezuela and exploit its vast oil resources.
"Inhibiting the entry of this aid could be seen as a crime against humanity".
Guaido has given few details of his strategy, but says the food and supplies will reach Venezuela's most vulnerable people in the next days.
Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey stood up for Maduro's support.
"The document adopted by the National Assembly - on "transitioning to democracy" - represents a coup attempt and violation of the constitution", Maduro said. The sanctions freeze $7 billion in US -based assets and target $11 billion of USA revenue to Venezuela's national oil company.
The pro-Maduro Supreme Court has already barred Guaido from leaving the country and frozen his bank accounts while prosecutors investigate what they call his anti-government activities. They squeeze us by the neck and then make us beg for crumbs'.
The contact group issued a statement on Thursday, saying it would send a technical mission to Venezuela to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid and would support a national vote.
"If they dare to continue blocking the way, all these volunteers will go open a humanitarian channel", he said.
However, fearing a possible conspiracy created to further destabilize the country, Maduro has so far refused to allow in trucks with foreign aid. A number of countries, including the United States, have accused Maduro of stealing the election.
"But on the inside it brings the poison of humiliation", Maduro said on Friday.
The International Contact Group urged "free, transparent and credible presidential elections" in Venezuela "as soon as possible" to find a peaceful solution to the power struggle between Maduro and Guaido.
"You're deaf to the reality of a revolution with 20 years of democratic patrimony; you only follow the script written by the extreme right", he said.
This is the first aid to arrive and would only last for a short time, but officials said it would benefit thousands of people unable to get hold of basic medicine and food inside Venezuela. "Venezuela is not suffering the humanitarian crisis made up by Washington over the last four years to justify intervening in our country".
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Those who continue to violate the human rights of ordinary Venezuelans under an illegitimate regime will be called to account. The Vatican didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Maduro's appeal.
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