Trump Administration Hits Venezuela With Oil Sanctions

Venezuela's Guaido arrives for a news conference in Caracas on Friday

Venezuela's Guaido arrives for a news conference in Caracas on Friday

A few hours earlier, Netanyahu had issued a statement declaring Israel's recognition as Guaido as interim president of the Latin American country. "They are attacking us and they think Venezuela is their back garden", Maduro said.

In the interview with CNN Turk, Maduro accused the United States of mounting a coup attempt against him - a regular refrain - and insisted Guaido was "violating the constitution".

The 56-year-old is confronting an unprecedented challenge to his authority after Mr Guaido declared himself interim president, citing a fraudulent election.

Guaido said opposition sympathizers should take to the streets on Wednesday to pass out copies of a pamphlet proposing amnesty that would give some legal protection to members of the military in hopes they will turn against Maduro.

Over the weekend, Israeli officials told Channel 13 news that State Department officials had made the request to diplomats at the embassy in Washington DC on Thursday, and that other U.S. allies who have yet to declare their support for either side have also been asked to issue statements in support of Guaido.

President of the National Assembly, Guaido has urged Venezuelans to participate in a big protest on February 2, to coincide with the deadline set by the European Union for Nicolas Maduro to call new elections.

Pope Francis, winding up a trip to Panama, said Sunday he was praying that "a just and peaceful solution is reached to overcome the crisis, respecting human rights". Russian Federation and China said they stood by President Nicolas Maduro.

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"We have continued to expose the corruption of [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro and his cronies and today's action ensures they can no longer loot the assets of the Venezuelan people", Bolton told reporters at a briefing on Monday.

Although he professed himself "open to dialogue", he acknowledged it was unlikely.

The warning didn't address specific groups or individuals, but Bolton noted in a linked tweet that Cuba's "support and control over Maduro's security and paramilitary forces" was well known.

The show of force was accompanied by a government publicity campaign online based on the slogan "Always Loyal, Never A Traitor", and followed a high-profile defection by the country's top military diplomat in the U.S. last Saturday.

In an interview with Turkish private broadcaster CNN Turk, Maduro stressed that his country has no political and diplomatic relations with the USA and described Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's remarks at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as "the words of a falling country".

"We have been attacked since [former President Hugo] Chavez's death", he said, stressing things has gone worse during the Trump Administration. He said he also wanted his own diplomats "to defend Venezuelan interests in the U.S." comparing the arrangement to that of the USA and Cuba, which had no diplomatic relations but maintained ties through lower-level officials in each country.

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