Venezuela air force general defects from regime and backs opposition leader

Venezuela air force general defects from regime and backs opposition leader

Venezuela air force general defects from regime and backs opposition leader

"It's time for Maduro to get out of the way".

Venezuela's Government has struck back at self-declared interim president Juan Guaido, with the Supreme Court imposing a travel ban and freeze on his bank accounts despite a warning from the United States of "serious consequences" if it did so.

"What most suits Russian Federation and China is the country's stability and a change of government", Guaido said.

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 don't just want you to stop shooting at protesters", Guaido said in a hoarse voice.

The announcement was welcomed by huge crowds in the capital and recognised by a chorus of world leaders, including US Vice President Mike Pence, who issued a video message supporting Guaido's "courageous decision".

Guaido backed the sanctions on Thursday and described them as a means to stop Venezuela's wealth from being looted by the Maduro government which he described as a corrupt "dictatorship". The proclamation came after the opposition-controlled National Assembly declared President Nicolas Maduro's second-term "illegitimate".

"Let's be clear", Pence said.

It comes on the heels of the Trump administration officially recognizing Guaidó as the official president of Venezuela.

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

Chevron has four joint-venture operations for exploration and production with PDVSA, as the Venezuelan company is known.

"We are around the corner from freedom", Espinoza said, banging on a pot and wearing a Venezuelan flag. He spoke Friday in a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

"It is obviously a very hard conversation to have with the USA", she said.

"We will never lend ourselves to false dialogues in any place", he said, adding that protests will continue throughout the country.

The EU legislature also approved a resolution that condemned the continued violence and the detention of journalists who sought to cover events there.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart are also participating in the round table. Espinoza said 23 of her nieces and nephews have left Venezuela due to the country's spiraling economic crisis, which has caused widespread food shortages and hyperinflation expected to surpass 1 million per cent this year.

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, tweeted Thursday that Maduro and his top advisers should retire to "a nice beach somewhere far away from Venezuela".

On Thursday, lawmakers at the European Parliament voted to accept Guaido as "legitimate interim president of the country" - and urged the European Union to follow suit.

"For this, it needs the consent and the cooperation of the government", he added.

Sucre says European support for Guaido will influence others.

"The English stole the gold in the Bank of England", Diosdado Cabello, the powerful No. 2 in Maduro's socialist party, said in a speech broadcast on state television this week. "We have been contacted by diplomats across Europe who are ready to take a step forward, but they are waiting for the right moment".

Mr Guaido in a letter, to the presidents of Mexico and Uruguay, said, he would only enter into negotiations if they serve to start the transition process, culminating in the holding of free elections.

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