Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Money | By Bruce West

US, regional powers recognise Maduro's opponent as Venezuela leader

US, regional powers recognise Maduro's opponent as Venezuela leader

The Venezuelan opposition leader who has declared himself interim president appeared in public Friday for the first time in days and vowed to remain on the streets to usher in a transitional government, while President Nicolas Maduro dug in and accused his opponents of orchestrating a coup.

China urged the United States to stay out of the crisis.

Speaking Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Guterres said the United Nations hopes "dialogue can be possible, and that we avoid an escalation that would lead to the kind of conflict that would be a disaster" for the people of Venezuela and the region.

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna too slammed Trump for his new policy on Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday he will close the country's embassy and consulates in the United States, a day after severing "diplomatic and political" ties with Washington. "There is no doubt the Maduro's economic policies have been awful, and he has engaged in financial mismanagement and also political authoritarianism", he said.

"We want an immediate call for elections in the near future", one diplomat told Agence France-Presse following a meeting of European Union ambassadors who discussed wording for a new and tougher declaration.

Following the fast-moving global feud, former Venezuelan minister Moises Naim said: "There is no doubt that the behaviour of guys with guns will define much of what will happen in the coming days and shape politics in Venezuela".

Venezuela's descent into a political crisis began this week when a group of soldiers rose up against Maduro and sparked a number of protests leading up to Wednesday's rival rallies that saw tens of thousands of people take to the streets.

Venezuelan allies including Russian Federation and Turkey - both important commercial partners - criticized Guaido's rise as a sign of USA interference.

"The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Venezuela", it said.

On Wednesday, the United States and major South American nations recognised opposition head Guaido as interim leader.

A defiant Mr Maduro called home all Venezuelan diplomats from the U.S. and closed its embassy on Thursday, a day after ordering all United States diplomats out of Venezuela by the weekend.

But officials in Russian Federation, one of Venezuela's biggest allies, reacted with anger Thursday at the United States and other Western nations for backing Guaido, accusing them of interfering in the country's internal affairs.

For some, especially Mexico, which was renegotiating NAFTA, adopting a more aggressive stance was also an opportunity to gain leverage in bilateral relations with the Trump administration.

Maduro has ordered all personnel at the U.S. Embassy to leave the country within 72 hours.

Canada said the suffering of Venezuelans would only worsen should Maduro continue to cling to power.

Guaido took the helm of the National Assembly on January 5 with a call for the armed forces to recognize Maduro as a "usurper" after his May 2018 re-election, widely viewed as fraudulent.

Colina, the former army lieutenant, said even though many rank-and-file troops are going hungry like countless other Venezuelans, they don't have effective leadership to challenge superiors, meaning it's likely they'll opt for the status quo.

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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