USA revokes Venezuela visas, rejects dialogue with Maduro
USA revokes Venezuela visas, rejects dialogue with Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has dismissed the need for aid. AAP
09 February, 2019, 09:25
"The United States is prepositioning relief items - including food, nutritional supplements, hygiene kits and medical supplies - in Colombia so they are available to reach those most in need in Venezuela, as soon as possible", said a us official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.
Guaido, who has backing from some 40 countries including the United States, is seeking to oust Maduro following a 2018 election that many countries say was a sham.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Venezuela's military was deliberately blocking the aid with trucks and shipping containers "under Maduro's orders".
Negotiation remains unlikely unless the army distances itself from Maduro and "puts in place another interlocutor", says Anna Ayuso, of the Center for International Affairs (CIDOB) in Barcelona.
"We will succeed in letting the humanitarian aid in, because it's about saving lives", Guaido posted on his official Twitter feed.
With the Venezuelan military still apparently loyal to Maduro, a source in Washington close to the opposition expressed doubts whether the Trump administration has laid enough groundwork to spur a wider mutiny in the ranks where many officers are suspected of benefiting from corruption and drug trafficking. An outspoken Maduro critic, Palomo has openly spoken of amassing a military force in exile to remove the Venezuelan leader from power.
"We are imposing visa restrictions and revoking the visas of members of the illegitimate constituent assembly", he said.
Guaido declared himself Venezuela's interim president January 23, maintaining that the constitution gives him that right as head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly because Maduro's re-election should be considered legitimate.
"It's a awful scenario because it does not solve the problem and makes the situation in the country worse", said Leon. He's managed to rally masses of Venezuelans into the streets to show their support, and he's won backing from almost 50 countries worldwide, including the United States.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido vowed to use the bridge to deliver the aid being pledged by Trump and Canada. Other nations - including Russian Federation and Turkey - have voiced support for Maduro, while China has called for peace, warning against foreign interference. He added that the government was ready to talk to "whomever and whenever". The pope told journalists Tuesday that this would require agreement from both the government and the opposition.
The Trump administration has relied on increasing diplomatic support for Guaido and economic sanctions that freeze Venezuela's oil revenues to force Maduro out or persuade the military leadership to remove him from power.
"We're still having conversations with members of the former Maduro regime, with military members, although those conversations are very, very limited", the official said, although declined to provide further details on the discussions or the level at which they are being held.
Maduro has rejected the global aid, saying: "We are not beggars".
"Imperialism does not help anyone in the world", he told Russia Today.
In Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was doubling its resources to cope with the crisis, where food and medicine shortages have pushed 2.3 million people to flee since 2015.
The United States has recognised Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-led National Assembly, as the interim president of the economically troubled nation. "Venezuela is not suffering the humanitarian crisis made up by Washington over the last four years to justify intervening in our country".
Representatives of the European Union and a group of Latin American governments met in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Thursday to discuss the crisis.
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