Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Maduro officially launches Venezuela's largest ever military exercises

Maduro officially launches Venezuela's largest ever military exercises

The centre, to be set up in Roraima state, would be the second on the Venezuelan border after one in Cucuta, Colombia, said Lester Toledo, the head of Guaido's aid distribution team.

Maduro claims the government needs its foreign assets to alleviate the shortages of food and medicines, which he says is being used by the Washington-backed opposition to paint a picture of a humanitarian crisis to justify a U.S. military intervention.

The lawyer and global law expert was appointed Venezuelan ambassador to Brazil by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has been recognised by dozens of countries as the head of Venezuela's legitimate government instead of leftist President Nicolas Maduro. To do so, he will nearly certainly need the support of Venezuela's military.

He also lambasted the US-backed opposition for derailing talks with president Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela's opposition regards Maduro as an incompetent dictator who has wrecked their economy and crushed dissent, while he calls them puppets of Washington seeking a coup in order to control the nation's vast oil reserves.

Maduro, who denies there is a crisis, denounces the aid as a USA -orchestrated show and is blocking the entry of supplies.

For his supporters, Guaido appeared to be something of a rockstar, as they desperately tried to take selfies and cheered emphatically every time he spoke or his name was mentioned.

Guaido has won backing from almost 50 countries worldwide, including the United States, which has pledged an initial $20 million in support and has already shipped emergency food and medicine to the Colombian border city of Cucuta, where it sits in a warehouse.

When Guaido declared himself interim president on January 23 before hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, he said that his government intends to achieve three objectives that have become a mantra for the opposition: "Cessation of the usurpation, transition government and free elections".

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Guaido tried to dismantle the pro-government discourse that his actions can lead to a civil war by pointing out that in Venezuela "there is no possibility of a people-to-people confrontation" because "Maduro is isolated". What do we want?

The U.S. provided the aid and the Colombian government helped ensure its transport to the border, but the opposition is charged with handling the aid's distribution within Venezuela.

Speaking to AFP last week, Guaido refused to rule out eliciting foreign intervention.

Amoroso alleged Guaido has "received money from worldwide entities without any type of justification".

Two weeks ago, the regime loyalist-dominated Supreme Court barred him from leaving the country and froze his assets.

"We are politically defining the steps and they are responding to what we put forth", Arellano said.

He also called on all Venezuelans to help hand out the supplies.

Last week, he also rejected a call by European Union countries to hold elections, prompting them to recognize Guaido.

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