SA backs beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro

SA backs beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, was the first European Union leader to issue an ultimatum, saying that "if within eight days there are no fair, free and transparent elections called in Venezuela, Spain will recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president". The election also attracted controversy over the jailing of opposition candidates.

"Unless elections are announced within eight days, we will be ready to recognize Juan Guaido as "President in charge" of Venezuela in order to trigger a political process", Macron said.

After Washington's declaration of support for Guaido, Maduro cut off diplomatic relations with the United States on Wednesday and gave USA diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.

Mr Pompeo accused Russian Federation and China of trying "to prop up Maduro while he is in dire straits ... in the hopes of recovering billions of dollars in ill-considered investments and assistance made over the years". No more delays, no more games.

Pompeo announced the appointment of Abrams two days after Washington declared head of state Nicolas Maduro to be illegitimate and recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of crisis-plagued Venezuela.

Washington seems so dead-set on regime change in Venezuela, the State Department has just appointed a former diplomat with a sordid track record in Latin America and Middle East to spearhead "restoring democracy" in Caracas. "Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem", he said.

USA diplomats in Venezuela have until Saturday to leave the country, but Washington has refused to fully comply fully with the exit order.

China's UN Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu said his government "firmly opposed" the United States accusations and doesn't interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

"With heartfelt thoughts for the Venezuelan people and the many with Italian origins, we express our closeness to the families of the victims in the face of the dramatic events taking place", he said.

Venezuelan opposition sympathizers had been urging Guaido to assume the presidency since Maduro was inaugurated for a second term on January 10. Venezuela's top military officials swore their allegiance on Thursday.

Venezuelan armed groups loyal to Maduro have clashed with protesters supporting Guaido, leaving at least 20 people dead and many wounded, the United Nations human rights office said Friday.

The ongoing turmoil in the country saw thousands of protesters calling for Mr Maduro's resignation tear-gassed by police during as demonstrations in the capital of Caracas turned ugly. "Do not test the United States on our resolve to protect our people".

Maduro cruised to re-election in May past year amid low turnout and allegations of vote-buying by the government.

The attaché also called on other armed forces members to recognize Guaido as legitimate president.

The Maduro government has previously rejected such aid, denying there is a humanitarian crisis in the country and blaming economic problems on sanctions. Many in the worldwide community condemned that vote and now consider the National Assembly, which Maduro has stripped of its power, the only legitimate institution.

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