EU Nations May Recognize Guaido as Venezuela Leader Amid Split

EU Nations May Recognize Guaido as Venezuela Leader Amid Split

He announced early elections could take place while speaking at a rally to commemorate the 20th anniversary of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez's first inauguration as president.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro proposed early parliamentary elections on Saturday, seeking to shore up his crumbling rule after a senior general defected to the opposition and tens of thousands thronged the streets in protest at his government.

He told Pence and other elected officials that aid efforts need to begin immediately.

"The U.S. intends to invade us, they will have a Vietnam worse than they can imagine" Maduro said in an interview with a Russian news agency.

"In any case, regardless of the political situation in this country, we hope and plan to boost our trade and economic ties and mutually beneficial cooperation", Peskov said.

Guaido has rejected offers from Mexico's and Uruguay's presidents to negotiate with Maduro.

This month's protests have received overwhelming support from overseas, with the U.S., Canada and many others already recognizing Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader. He reassured them the US would continue efforts to oust Maduro from office.

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".

"They don't have the resources or long-term strategic capacity to take a stand in Venezuela", Cardenas said. Maduro was supported by Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey.

And last week, the Bank of England denied Maduro officials' request to withdraw US$1.2 billion of gold stored there after top USA officials, including Bolton and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, lobbied their United Kingdom counterparts to cut off the regime from its overseas holdings.

Maduro's adversaries say he has run roughshod over democratic institutions and destroyed the once-buoyant economy through a corruption-riddled exchange control system and arbitrary nationalizations.

Meanwhile, a prominent opposition lawmaker called on a group of European Union and Latin American countries to support Maduro's ouster - without negotiations.

The US on Thursday urged all European countries to recognize Guaido, but Maduro has told the "imperialists" to wait until 2025 for new elections. He's backed by the United States and roughly two dozen nations.

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.

"The use of sanctions by outside powers to overthrow an elected government is in violation of all norms of worldwide law", he said in a statement in Geneva.

Chevron Corp. says its operations in Venezuela will continue normally for the "foreseeable future" despite newly imposed USA sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA.

The government called for a mass rally Thursday to denounce US sanctions against Venezuela's state-owned oil company that could starve Maduro's government of billions in export revenue but turnout was no more than a few hundred people.

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