Russian Federation 'ready' to mediate in Venezuela peace efforts

Russian Federation 'ready' to mediate in Venezuela peace efforts

The fight to control Venezuela, which has the world's largest oil reserves, has intensified with new US sanctions and legal moves that may bring the arrest of opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido.

He added the consequences will hit "those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaido".

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called Guaido a "US puppet" and accused Washington, which has stated that it has all options on the table to respond to the crisis, of organizing a coup in the Latin American country.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Donald Trump of ordering neighboring Colombia's government to kill him, but said he was open to the possibility of talks with the USA leader and his own domestic foes.

The Supreme Court's order comes as tensions between the United States and Venezuela reach a new high, with Maduro accusing the Trump administration of staging a coup against his presidency and Guaido seeking to consolidate an interim government under his own leadership.

"Together with other responsible members of the global community, we will do everything to support President Maduro's legitimate government in upholding the Venezuelan constitution and employing methods to resolve the crisis that are within the constitutional framework", he added.

"The regime is in its final throes", said Guaido.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said the sanctions would block $US7 billion ($9.8 billion) in PDVSA's assets, "plus over $11 billion in lost export proceeds over the next year".

The U.S. has been working to put National Assembly head Juan Guaido, who says he is the nation's rightful president, in charge of Venezuelan finances and starve the regime.

The Kremlin condemned the sanctions as illegal interference, while China said they would lead to suffering for which Washington would bear responsibility.

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A furious Maduro said Trump would have "blood all over his hands" if violence breaks out in Venezuela.

"This certification will help Venezuela's legitimate government safeguard those assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people", State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

A woman walks past a painting of US President Donald Trump in Caracas on January 29, 2019.

It came just hours before a midday strike announced by opposition leader Guaido.

The US has emerged as Mr Guaido's most powerful ally, announcing on Tuesday that it was giving him control of Venezuela's US bank accounts. His country counts on strong support from China and Russian Federation for economic development, he added.

The Trump administration has imposed sanctions that could starve the already distressed nation of billions in oil revenue - an effort to mount pressure against the defiant Maduro.

There was no immediate response from Maduro's government.

Last week, President Trump announced the "full weight" of US power behind Guaidó, who invoked a protocol whereby the head of the assembly can become national leader if the office of the president has been wrongfully taken.

Oil-rich Venezuela is wracked with hyperinflation, rendering the bolivar currency practically worthless.

The country sends about 40 per cent of its 1.3 million barrels per day of oil exports to the United States, RBC noted.