Argentinians protest USA intervention in Venezuela

Argentinians protest USA intervention in Venezuela

Argentinians protest USA intervention in Venezuela

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has said he "will not go down in history as a traitor" as he vowed to resist Washington's demands to step down.

Canada and the Lima Group are backing Juan Guaido, the opposition leader who's the head of Venezuela's legislature, as Maduro's replacement.

US President Donald Trump warned on Sunday that military intervention remains "an option" for dealing with the crisis in Venezuela. America's Rachel Blevins has the details.

While the United States never ruled out a military option to support Juan Guaidó's claim to power, so far Washington has called for a peaceful transition of power in the Latin American country. He spoke at a military rally designed, in part, to display his support among Venezuela's military leaders.

But ties with Venezuela have warmed under leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who invited Maduro to his inauguration last month.

European Union member states had indicated that if no new elections are announced, they would take action within the next few days, including on the issue of recognition of the country's leadership in accordance with Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution.

Meanwhile, Venezuela's socialist party boss, Diosdado Cabello, threatened to hold early legislative elections that could gut the congress, which is the only branch of government controlled by the opposition.

In power since former President Hugo Chavez's death in 2013, Maduro has been accused by critics of running the OPEC nation of 30 million people like a dictatorship.

The 35-year-old Guaido, accused by Maduro's government of staging a US -directed coup, has galvanized Venezuela's opposition with a hopeful message. You want to humiliate Venezuela, and I will not let our people be humiliated.

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"Donald Trump's threats violate the United Nations charter, which prohibits the threat of the use of force or the use of force against any country", said Maduro.

In her opening remarks at the meeting, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the Lima Group allies stand on the side of human rights and of a peaceful, democratic and constitutional transition in Venezuela.

Almost 19 European countries - including the UK, France, Spain and Germany - also joined the recognizing Guaido.

The spokesman for Guterres, Stéphane Dujarric, said that Guterres "supports the efforts of the worldwide community that will help find a political solution" to the situation in Venezuela.

Mr Guaido has called for further protests.

Immediately, the USA was the first to recognise Guaido as the President and also promised humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

Two of the protesters, masquerading as journalists, interrupted the Lima Group's closing news conference, shouting, "Hands off Venezuela" while holding a big black sign that read "Stop the plunder".

Canada has announced a humanitarian relief package for Venezuela.

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