Win McNamee/Getty Images US to send humanitarian aid to Venezuela, Bolton says

Hugh Fox
February 2, 2019

Writing in an opinion piece published in The New York Times, Guaido called Maduro's re-election on May 20, 2018, "illegitimate" and that, by continuing to stay in office, he was "usurping the presidency". Guaido said he had made a good case for them to support his government. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has been closely following and exposing the Maduro regime, shared the terrifying news that Maduro troops had arrived at Guaido's house in Caracas on Thursday to intimidate him and his family.

Similar talks in the past have failed, and opposition leaders have said Maduro uses them to stall for time.

"In a few weeks they will have to choose if they let much needed aid into the country. or if they side with Nicolas Maduro", said Guaido, who recently offered an amnesty to members of the military in another effort to encourage them to defect from the Maduro administration.

The last 10 days of political upheaval have exacerbated the general disarray in Venezuela, which has the world's largest proven oil reserves but has suffered an economic meltdown marked by hyperinflation and shortages of basic necessities.

While marshaling worldwide support, Guaido is seeking to maintain street pressure against Maduro at home, where he has called more mass protests for Saturday - keeping him firmly in the government's crosshairs.

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Addressing security forces directly, he said: "I will hold you responsible for any intimidation of my baby, who is just 20 months old".

Guaido does not yet control any of the state's functions, which remain loyal to Maduro despite the opposition's calls for defections. He retains support from powerful allies, including Russian Federation and China, but is growing increasingly isolated as more nations back Guaido.

Turkey's president, Tayyip Erdogan, has stood by Maduro, calling him last week to express support. All, without exception, have said they are coming for the oil of Venezuela.

An "international contact group" announced Thursday by the EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, "should help to cease the usurpation of power by Maduro and establish a transitional government until new elections", said Francisco Sucre, who heads the global committee of the opposition-led National Assembly.

The university speech came one day after thousands of people led by Guaido took to the streets in Caracas and various other cities, banging pots, blowing whistles and horns, and carrying banners that read: "Armed forces, regain your dignity" and "Maduro usurper".

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USA officials who have warned Maduro will face "serious consequences" if he harms Guaido denounced the incident as a disgraceful intimidation tactic.

"We are continuing the investigation and don't discount future arrests", he added.

The United States on Monday imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm, aimed at pressuring Maduro to step down.

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

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