Venezuela air force general defects from Maduro government

Venezuela air force general defects from Maduro government

The Trump administration has ratcheted up the pressure on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in recent weeks, recognizing an opposition lawmaker as the country's leader until new elections can be held and imposing more sanctions on the state oil company whose revenues have kept the country afloat.

Mr Guaido said the European Union should consider increasing pressure on Maduro through further sanctions, and should collectively recognise him - Mr Guaido - as the constitutional interim President of Venezuela.

Dressed in full uniform, Major General Francisco Yanez appeared on a video posted on social media to declare his support for Guaido, the National Assembly head who has led the most serious challenge yet to Maduro's rule.

"My advice to bankers, brokers, traders, facilitators, and other businesses: don't deal in gold, oil, or other Venezuelan commodities being stolen from the Venezuelan people by the Maduro mafia, " National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a tweet this week.

"You want elections? You want early elections?"

Humanitarian aid would soon flow into crisis-stricken Venezuela from collection points in Brazil, Colombia and a Caribbean island, Guaido said, without specifying who was providing the aid.

He described the move as a "test" for Venezuela's armed forces, which will have to choose if they allow the much needed aid to pass, or if they instead obey the orders of Maduro's government. During a rally that assembled hundreds of thousands of Venezuela people into the east of Caracas, Guaido stated Maduro had seized power and assured to create an intermediate government that will help the nation to escape its current hyperinflationary economic collapse.

In comments to reporters, Guaido later thanked his neighbors who rushed to the apartment banging pots and pans to call attention to the police visit. "We will not surrender".

U.S. economy adds 304,000 jobs in January
The labor force participation rate continued to defy expectations, rising for the second consecutive month to 63.2% from 63.1%. Though Jacumin, 42, and her husband both have Navy pensions, her new job has provided much-needed income and health insurance.

Mr Maduro's inauguration sparked protests throughout Venezuela.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Friday that foreign interventions could even spark a civil war in Venezuela, condemning the European Parliament's decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president in the South American country. He considers Maduro's election win fraudulent.

Attorney General Tarek Saab says he has asked the court to open a preliminary investigation into Guaido as a result of diverse violent occurrences in the country for a week now.

Guaido said that he is still sees transparent elections as the best way out of Venezuela's spiraling political crisis, but realizes that Maduro will not easily grant them unless he is pressured to do so by economic sanctions, street protests and Venezuela's military. The reserve force was created by the late Hugo Chavez to train civilians to assist the armed forces and defend the socialist revolution from attacks. "We made a big step in our fight for democracy", he wrote on Twitter. The proclamation came after the opposition-controlled National Assembly declared President Nicolas Maduro's second-term "illegitimate".

Guaido indicated that there would be no dialogue with Maduro or anyone in his government.

Wirth also said Chevron's refining operations in the US are well-prepared to handle an expected disruption of Venezuelan crude supply due to the sanctions. The previously little-known 35-year old industrial engineer has offered the military and public officials amnesty if they defect.

He has accused the US of orchestrating a coup against his government but said he is open to dialogue with the opposition, but not new national elections. "There is hope in Venezuela".

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