Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Venezuela opposition leader to police: Leave my family alone

Venezuela opposition leader to police: Leave my family alone

Those assets form a key part of the fierce battle for control of Venezuela's finances between Maduro and Juan Guaido, the National Assembly leader who is trying to install a transitional government with the support of the USA and other countries across the region.

The political crisis intensified on January 23 when Guaido proclaimed himself the country's legitimate leader.

A defiant Maduro said in an interview with Spanish television station Sexta that he would not "cave in to pressure" from those calling for his departure.

Yanez is refusing to say whether he is still in Venezuela or has left the country.

Yanez said he would not give further statements until given authorization by 'the commander-in-chief of the legal armed force which is President Juan Guaido'.

The military's support is crucial for Maduro, who is deeply unpopular, largely due to an unprecedented economic crisis that has prompted an exodus of millions.

The United States and most other Western nations have backed Guaido's push for a transition and new elections.

Still, Maduro is clinging to power, and intimidating the opposition while he's at it. Sen. "My advice to bankers, brokers, traders, facilitators, and other businesses: don't deal in gold, oil, or other Venezuelan commodities being stolen from the Venezuelan people by the Maduro mafia, " Bolton said in a tweet.

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Humanitarian aid from an "international coalition" would soon flow into Venezuela, which is facing rampant hunger and medicine shortages, from collection points in Brazil, Colombia and a Caribbean island, Guaido said.

Meanwhile, California-based Chevron Corp. said its operations in Venezuela will continue normally for the "foreseeable future" despite newly imposed USA sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA.

"At this moment the dictatorship believes that it will intimidate us", Guaido said, his wife at his side.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido called for demonstrations today to increase pressure on Maduro to resign.

"We are looking at the nature of Turkish-Venezuelan commercial activity and if we assess a violation of our sanctions, we will obviously take action".

The bloc did not come out in support of Guaido after a meeting of foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania, to discuss the crisis, but European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced the establishment of a 90-day worldwide conduct group with European Union and Latin American states to "promote common understanding aiming at a peaceful and democratic outcome".

The military controls some of the country's key assets including the state run oil company, and its top brass has helped Maduro to survive previous rounds of mass protests in 2014 and 2017 by jailing activists and repressing protesters.

The European Parliament has called on the EU's member states to recognize Guaido as interim president. Last week fewer than 30 soldiers rose up against Maduro, precipitating protests that, according to the United Nations, ended with more than 40 dead and hundreds detained.

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