Venezuela Allows US Diplomats To Stay After Pompeo Draws A Hard Line

28 January, 2019, 02:26 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Elliott Abrams listens to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talk about Venezuela at the State Department in Washington on Jan. 25 2019

On Saturday, officials from the UK, Spain, Germany and France delivered Mr Maduro an ultimatum: Call elections within eight days or Mr Guaido will be recognised as president.

For his part, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will on urge UN Security Council members at a Saturday meeting to recognise Guaido as interim president, the State Department said.

Greece's ruling party Syriza has publicly backed Maduro, with party secretary Panos Skourletis voicing "full support and solidarity" to what to he called "the legal president".

As Venezuela's chaotic political crisis unfolds, President Nicolas Maduro is alleging the United States orchestrated a coup to remove him from the helm of the embattled nation.

The United States called for a U.N. Security Council meeting on Saturday, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged global leaders to "pick a side" on the issue. Guaido has won wide global support and offers amnesty to soldiers who join him.

The statement from Australian foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, follows a threat from European leaders on Sunday to recognise Guaidó unless Maduro calls an election in the next eight days.

Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China and Belarus called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference. Guaido, the National Assembly speaker, has proclaimed himself interim president. Maduro maintains he is the democratically elected president and says Guaido is part of a USA -led coup.

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He "asked the Lord to seek and find a just and peaceful solution to overcome the crisis that respects human rights and exclusively seeks the good of all people". They don't want us to get better. One of those nations is the United States, with President Donald Trump recognizing Guaidó as Venezuela's new leader.

Guaido also sent a message to the military on Sunday, asking for their support and ordering them not to repress civilians during an event in which supporters handed out copies of a proposed amnesty for people accused of crimes in the Maduro government.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia charged that the Trump administration is trying "to engineer a coup" against Maduro.

The first major military officer to publicly switch his support to Guaido was Venezuela's military attache in Washington, Army Colonel Jose Luis Silva. The Security Council's five veto-holding permanent members could not unite behind a statement on Venezuela, presenting widely differing texts.

Another factor that could accelerate the transition: if Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Venezuelan oil (the United States buys one-third of its total exports, some 510,000 barrels a day last year), this would deliver a fatal blow to the economy and fracture Maduro's base of supporters, according to the Capital Economics consultancy.

However, Maduro softened his demand that all USA embassy staff withdraw by Saturday.

To date, President Maduro retains the levers of power. "We continue adding countries to this great effort", he said.



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