Venezuela air force general defects from Maduro government

Venezuela air force general defects from Maduro government

Venezuela air force general defects from Maduro government

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke to Juan Guaido, the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela.

General Francisco Yanez, high command of Venezuela's air force, said he now recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim head-of-state, according to media reports Saturday.

He told officials: "Do not cross the red line".

The 35-year-old leader argued that Russian Federation and China's interests would be best served by switching the side they back in Venezuela, an OPEC member which has the world's largest oil reserves but is in dire financial straits.

Military is a key pillar of support for the deeply unpopular Maduro. Both Canada and the United States are backing Guaido, though the populist leader still has no control over state institutions or day-to-day governance. Some European Union member states are expected to officially recognise Guaido next week, while others will likely take a more cautious stance of support. The statement reported, "The U.S. does not recognize ex-president Nicolas Maduro to possess the legal expert to end diplomatic relations with the U.S. or to announce our diplomat's persona non grata".

Maduro has described the latest protests against his rule as part of a USA -led coup attempt and called on his supporters to organize their own march in defense of his Bolivarian Revolution. They had, though, been weighed and separated for shipment, the person said.

The president said that he would consult the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly - a body elected in 2017 to draft the new constitution - on the issue. From them comes strength, with which we defend the Sovereignty and the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ' Maduro tweeted.

Guaido has promised a huge turnout - the largest in the country's history, he has said - to reinforce his call for elections organized by a transitional government he claims to lead as head of the National Assembly.

And four major European powers - Britain, France, Germany and Spain - have said they will do so if Maduro fails to call presidential elections by midnight on Sunday, February 2. Joshua Goodman of the Associated Press joins Hari Sreenivasan.

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Guaido said in the interview that the operation would be a "new test" of the military's loyalty toward the government.

"Such acts of intimidation are seen as very serious, very egregious by the United States", a senior US administration official told reporters on a conference call.

Maduro has repeatedly blamed Washington for being behind a state coup in Venezuela.

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

Guaido explained that aid for Venezuela will include life-saving medicines that are scarce in Venezuela and will be transported by vehicles arriving at several border points, after it is shipped into "friendly ports" in neighboring countries.

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

Although Arellano, along and his wife Mayra Lopez, left a year ago, they say the problems back home have only gotten worse.

He said: "Power is evaporating from Maduro's hands with the passing of the hours".

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