Britain, France Back Protests Against Venezuela's Maduro

26 January, 2019, 02:27 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Venezuelan Military Stands by Maduro

Ilhan Omar is facing a social media backlash after accusing President Trump of backing a "coup" in the socialist-led country of Venezuela even though Nicolas Maduro's government is considered largely illegitimate by much of the global community.

The department says it's taking the step for security reasons and that the embassy in Caracas will stay open.

Maduro, in a fiery speech on Wednesday, said he was cutting off diplomatic relations with the United States for instigating a "coup" against him, though U.S. President Donald Trump's administration then said its relations would be with Guaido.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro on Thursday that he supports the legitimate authorities of the country, the Kremlin said. Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro described these developments as an attempted coup and said he was breaking diplomatic ties with the US.

"Amnesty is on the table", said Guaido, who just weeks earlier was named head of the opposition-controlled congress.

The key people in this crisis are the security forces, like the police and army.

The United States and Britain said on Thursday that Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro is not legitimate, while Russian Federation and Turkey expressed their support to the legal authorities.

Attention was focused on Venezuela's military, a traditional arbiter of political disputes in the country, as a critical indicator of whether the opposition will succeed in setting up a new government.

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The diplomats were likely to leave Caracas around midday on one of two daily flights to Miami by American Airlines, the last-remaining USA carrier to serve Venezuela after Delta and United Airlines pulled out in 2017 amid a political crisis that has forced millions to flee the country.

The State Department in a notice said it had "ordered non-emergency U.S. government employees to depart Venezuela". The two are Venezuela's largest creditors, having acted as lenders of last resort for the Maduro regime in a bid to prop up the country's imploding economy.

The United States has already pledged a total of $96 million in aid to neighboring countries that have absorbed the estimated two to three million refugees fleeing Maduro's rule.

Several former military leaders who remain in close contact with active troops said that for Guaido to even have a chance of winning over support from sectors of the military, he'd have to continue to galvanize the public and prove to skeptical military officers with much to lose that his promise of granting amnesty to those who promote change is honest.

The European Union, which has imposed sanctions on Venezuela and boycotted Maduro's swearing-in, has been more cautious, stopping short of following Washington in recognizing the 35-year-old Guaido as acting president. Her office in Geneva said she "urged all sides to conduct immediate talks to defuse the increasingly incendiary atmosphere".

In a video addressing the military earlier this week, Guiado said the constitution requires them to disavow Maduro after his May 2018 re-election, which was widely condemned by the worldwide community because his main opponents were banned from running.

There's a political crisis in Venezuela, here's Newsround's guide to what's going on.



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