Venezuela to close its USA embassy, consulates: Maduro

Venezuela to close its USA embassy, consulates: Maduro

His remarks were followed by a protest as Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of peace group Code Pink who frequently disrupts official events, held up a banner that said, "Don't support the coup in Venezuela".

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A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said the election has been neither free nor fair and expressed support for Guaido as national assembly head.

The leader of Venezuela's National Assembly declared himself president just two weeks after Maduro began his second six-year term.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a ceremony to mark the opening of the judicial year at the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 24, 2019. "That would create a unsafe precedent for any other person who would want to proclaim themselves the president of something". He has put himself forward as the new acting president. Washington has refused to comply, but ordered its non-essential staff to leave the tumultuous country, citing security concerns.

President Donald Trump, left, talks to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they tour the new North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on July 11, 2018.

While Canada and others have supported Guaido, Venezuela's top military brass pledged their support for Maduro on Thursday, delivering vows of loyalty before rows of green-uniformed officers on state television. "I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy".

Russia's President Vladimir Putin called Maduro and expressed his support to Venezuela's legitimate government while condemning "external interference" of the USA and its allies over "gross" violation of worldwide law.

"The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law", Trump said. Trump has promised to use the "full weight" of US economic and diplomatic power to push for the restoration of Venezuela's democracy.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hosted a Venezuelan diplomat in parliament on Wednesday evening, as hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan citizens took to the streets demanding an end to the socialist regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

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Washington has signalled that it could impose new sanctions on Venezuela's vital oil sector.

Does anyone else agree with Donald Trump?

Britain has joined the United States and Canada in throwing its weight behind moves to oust Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro.

"Literally in every interaction that he has had with Latin American leaders since taking office, he brings up Venezuela".

But politicians in Russian Federation, which has a close relationship with Venezuela, were critical of the move.

It was no small diplomatic feat, given the mistrust of the Latin America due to the painful memories stemming from USA military interventions in the region during the Cold War.

Asked if the deployment was linked to protecting Maduro, the source said: "It's directly connected". They don't have friends or loyalties.

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet's office said Friday that it had credible reports that security forces or members of pro-government armed groups had shot at least 20 people during protests on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Maduro retaliated by breaking off relations with the United States, his biggest trade partner.

Dimitris Pantoulas, a political analyst in Caracas, said discontent was spreading across the country.

Guaido has said he needs the backing of three critical groups: The people, the global community and the military.