Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Venezuela's military backs Maduro, accuses Guaido of 'coup'

Venezuela's military backs Maduro, accuses Guaido of 'coup'

Ilhan Omar is facing a social media backlash after accusing President Trump of backing a "coup" in the socialist-led country of Venezuela even though Nicolas Maduro's government is considered largely illegitimate by much of the worldwide community.

Officials warned that "the USA government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Venezuela due to extremely limited infrastructure and poor security conditions", calling for State Department employees and their families to return home.

In turn, Nicolas Maduro claimed that he was the country's constitutional president and called the opposition leader a puppet manipulated by the United States.

Echoing remarks made by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Thursday morning, the spokesperson said the Trump administration will maintain its diplomatic relationship with Venezuela through the office of National Assembly President Juan Guaidó, who has been recognized by President Trump and other heads of states across the region as the country's interim president.

On January 23, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president during an opposition rally in Caracas.

"The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law", the U.S. president added.

A member of Venezuela's Bolivarian National Police Special Forces Group (FAES) takes position during an operation.

"The United States does not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela".

"I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy", Trump said in his statement on Wednesday.

Guaido's father, who has lived in Spain for the last 16 years, has called on the military to drop its allegiance to Maduro.

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Normally, it's pretty clear who the President of a country is. But other countries, including Russia, Turkey, China, Iran and Syria, are backing Maduro.

Attention was focused on Venezuela's military, a traditional arbiter of political disputes in the country, as a critical indicator of whether the opposition will succeed in setting up a new government.

Despite the economic challenges and political climate in Venezuela, most of the people we talked to agreed that they wouldn't want to leave their country if they had the chance.

The diplomats were likely to leave Caracas around midday on one of two daily flights to Miami by American Airlines, the last-remaining USA carrier to serve Venezuela after Delta and United Airlines pulled out in 2017 amid a political crisis that has forced millions to flee the country.

"Don't trust the gringos", he said, adding they only have "the ambition to take Venezuela's oil, gas and gold".

Guaido spoke in front of a rally of supporters in the Chacao neighborhood in the capital Caracas and took questions from local and worldwide media outlets.

Food shortages are widespread, grocery store shelves are bare, and many people say they do not have enough food to eat.

Many Venezuelans were looking for Guaido to re-emerge and provide guidance on the opposition's next steps.

"What's going on in Venezuela", San Miguel said, "hasn't finished yet". He has put himself forward as the new acting president.

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