Vice President Pence expected to meet with Venezuelan exiles, lawmakers in Doral

Vice President Pence expected to meet with Venezuelan exiles, lawmakers in Doral

Vice President Pence expected to meet with Venezuelan exiles, lawmakers in Doral

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.

Early on Saturday, General Yanez said in a social media video that he disavowed Maduro's "dictatorial" authority and recognized Guaido as the acting president.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin shares the view of the Venezuelan government that the USA sanctions are "illegal" and sees them as a tool of unfair competition by the United States.

In a brief phone conversation with The Associated Press, the officer confirmed, from a Colombian number, the veracity of his declaration and 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".

In the video, Gen Yanez claimed that "90%" of the country's armed forces are against Mr Maduro.

On Monday, the US hit Venezuela's state-owned oil company with potentially devastating economic sanctions that could cost the already distressed nation billions in revenue.

But it is unclear how much concrete military backing there is for Guaido.

Guaido swore himself in as interim president on January 23 in a direct challenge to Maduro's rule and quickly won the backing of countries in the region, but still has no control over state institutions or any functions of day-to-day governance. "We made a big step in our fight for democracy", he wrote on Twitter.

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Maduro said he is prepared to hold negotiations with the US -backed opposition and added he would support early parliamentary elections, he made the remarks during an interview with RIA Novosti.

"We don't just want you to stop shooting at protesters", Guaido said in a hoarse voice. "That their children live a childhood full of fear and persecution", said Francis Suarez, wife of Ravanguoy, who wore a shirt that said "Make Venezuela Free Again".

Some three million Venezuelans have left the country since 2015, according to the UN.

Guaido told CNN that he has been in talks with members of the military, but did not present a clear plan of how he would get them to withdraw their support from Maduro.

With 20 tons of gold stacked up for loading and shipping out of Venezuelan vaults, the mystery surrounding them - and the saber-rattling they're sparking - is intensifying. "They have given the order from the White House that Maduro be killed".

The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, said Americans shouldn't travel to Venezuela, warning of unrest, the threat of being arbitrarily arrested and the danger of mass demonstrations erupting with little notice. He has offered the military and public officials amnesty if they defect.

One marcher told the AP he was bused in to Caracas last night from the city of Puerto Ayacucho, which is 14 hours away from the capital.

Guaido argues that Maduro was re-elected in a sham election previous year, and is invoking two articles of Venezuela's constitution that he says allow him as the leader of the national assembly to assume the presidency and call elections when the current president is holding power illegitimately.

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