Red Cross talks to US about risks of sending Venezuela aid

Red Cross talks to US about risks of sending Venezuela aid

Red Cross talks to US about risks of sending Venezuela aid

Global jostling intensified yesterday between countries that want Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in power and those trying to force him to resign, as opposition leader Juan Guaido made overtures to his rival's allies Russian Federation and China.

"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", the 35-year-old said of the country's military, which controls all of Venezuela's ports. Moreover, Pence said in a video message earlier this week that the U.S. government supported Guaido's "courageous decision ... to assert that body's constitutional powers, declare Maduro an usurper and call for the establishment of a transitional government".

The crisis in Venezuela, where Juan Guaidó, head of the National Assembly and a rival of Mr Maduro, declared himself president on January 23 and gained U.S. endorsement, has shone a spotlight on Kremlin ambitions in the region.

Pence reiterated comments made Mr. Trump and other administration representatives that the United States is willing to move beyond just diplomatic avenues if Maduro does not step down. Mexico and Uruguay called for an global conference of neutral countries to facilitate talks between Maduro and the opposition next week. All, without exception, have said they are coming for the oil of Venezuela.

The European Parliament has called on the EU's member states to recognize Guaido as interim president.

A former union leader who succeeded his charismatic mentor, the late President Hugo Chavez, Maduro has overseen a shrinking economy and the migration of more than 3 million Venezuelans fleeing food and drug shortages and hyperinflation.

"We're in a historic battle, " Maduro told several hundred troops standing in formation around armored vehicles.

"We are not kind of an implementing agency for any donor, specifically not to implement things that have a political tone", he said.

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The military's top leadership is backing Maduro, though analysts warn that rank-and-file troops frustrated by their country's economic and humanitarian crisis may not share that unwavering loyalty.

As Nicolas Maduro, the authoritarian ruler, tries to stave off mounting worldwide pressure to relinquish power, the fate of those gold bars has become a cause of great concern both in Venezuela and overseas.

"Historically, what dictators do when they believe they are about to lose power, or worry about it, they basically take everything they can carry and they spirit it out of the country to some safe place", said R. Evan Ellis, a Latin America expert at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute.

"There is no possible discussion here".

"We have supported them and will support them".

Sucre says European support for Guaido will influence others.

"Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no claim to power", Pence said about the head of the South American government who has been at the center of the recent political and economic maelstrom.

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