Venezuela to close embassy, consulates in US

26 January, 2019, 02:28 | Author: Corey Lynch
  • Guaido greets supporters after taking an oath to be Venezuela's interim president

The United States said it was ignoring the order as it did not believe Maduro was still president and instead recognized as interim leader Juan Guaido, the opposition head of the National Assembly. Also active was Colombia, which shares a border with Venezuela and has received more than 2 million migrants fleeing economic chaos, along with Peru and Brazil's new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

The adoption on Friday by the Czech Parliament's lower house of an global working definition of antisemitism has been welcomed. A US official said intermediaries were used to deliver messages to Guaido's political mentor and opposition power broker Leopoldo Lopez, who is under house arrest after he tried and failed to lead a mass uprising against Maduro in 2014.

United Nations human rights boss Michelle Bachelet called on Friday for an independent investigation into alleged excessive use of force by Venezuelan security forces or allied militia, citing reports of at least 20 people killed this week.

"My brother Maduro! Stand tall, we stand by you!"

He is also readying a new board to run state-run oil firm PDVSA's US unit Citgo Petroleum, sources said.

The constitutionality of Guaido's move is unclear.

To leave Venezuela, he sneaked across the lawless border with Colombia, so as not to raise suspicions among immigration officials who sometimes harass opposition figures at the airport and bar them from traveling overseas, said a different anti-government leader, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss security arrangements.

Anti-government protesters cheer after Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, declared himself interim president, January 23, 2019. He has mostly stayed on message in public, consulted with his advisers and avoided antagonizing regional allies needed for their support. Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the information committee at the Russian Federation Council, called Guaido's declaration "an attempted coup" backed by the U.S.

Guaido's team is planning to name a new board to state-run oil firm PDVSA's USA unit Citgo Petroleum and a new representative to the Inter-American Development Bank, two sources familiar with the discussions said.

A half-dozen generals belonging largely to district commands and with direct control over thousands of troops joined Maduro in accusing the United States of meddling in Venezuela's affairs and said they would uphold the socialist leader's rule.

"The real issue that keeps me up at nights is what do we do if Maduro manages to hold on?"

A letter by a U.S. Embassy security officer requesting a police escort for a caravan of 10 vehicles was leaked earlier in the day and published on social media by a journalist for state-owned TV network Telesur.

"Our people are there directly for his protection", he said. Beijing and Moscow have extensive economic interests, having loaned Caracas billions of dollars. Washington has signalled that it could impose new sanctions on Venezuela's vital oil sector. But there has been growing frustration within the administration that more was needed.

"The president's instincts have always been to do the strongest possible action (against Venezuela) that doesn't undermine the cohesion of this multilateral approach", Rubio told Reuters.

"It's not a war between Venezuelans that will solve our problems", he said.

Bolton, known for his harsh views on the Latin American left, laid some of the groundwork well before Guaido's emergence.

The avalanche of support for Guaido dramatically raised the stakes in Venezuela, an oil-rich nation that has become deeply impoverished under Maduro.



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