Australia recognises Venezuelan Opposition Leader Juan Guaido as interim president

28 January, 2019, 02:28 | Author: Sally Reid
  • SA backs beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro

Earlier Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the U.N. Security Council: "Let me be 100 per cent clear - President Trump and I fully expect that our diplomats will continue to receive protections provided under the Vienna Convention".

The United States accepted interim President Juan Guaido's designation of Carlos Alfredo Vecchio as the Charge d'Affaires of the Government of Venezuela to the United States on January 25.

At a Caracas rally the Guaido said he would announce a date for "a grand march", and called on supporters to circulate copies of amnesty measures approved by the National Assembly to friends and relatives in the military.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration said on Sunday it had accepted a representative from Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's representative in the United States.

"Australia calls for a transition to democracy in Venezuela as soon as possible", Senator Payne said.

The U.S. refused to accept Maduro's order to close its Caracas embassy, though Maduro's government on Saturday said it would ease the deadline for the diplomats to leave.

So far, Canada and several European countries have heeded the United States' call.

As the deadline expired, Maduro said he had begun negotiations to set up within 30 days an Interests Section in Caracas to maintain a minimum level of diplomatic contact, similar to the arrangement the United States had with Cuba until their 2015 rapprochement.

In heated back-and-forth exchanges at a United Nations Security Council meeting, the opposing camp led by Venezuela and Russian Federation, which has invested heavily in Venezuela's oil industry, accused Washington of attempting a coup, and lambasted Europeans' demand that elections be called within eight days.

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Part of the worldwide community favors that solution: The European Union sees Maduro's presidency as illegitimate but the bloc has yet to recognize Guaido as president and has called for the creation of a "contact group" between the two camps.

"Any violence and intimidation against US diplomatic personnel, Venezuela's democratic leader, Juan Guiado, or the National Assembly itself would represent a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response", Bolton tweeted Sunday.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser is sending a new warning to the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Last week, a small Venezuelan national guard unit stole a stockpile of weapons in what it said was an attempt to oust Maduro.

In his first interview since the intense leadership struggle began last week, Mr Maduro branded the European countries' actions a "mistake".

"We must try to help bring about a political solution that will allow the country's citizens to enjoy peace, prosperity and all their human rights", said Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, during her briefing to an emergency meeting of the 15-member Security Council on the situation in Venezuela.

President Maduro fears a foreign military intervention in Venezuela and is ramping up its armored forces along the Colombia border. Countries with ties to Maduro's regime, like Russia, China, and Turkey, have all declared their support for the embattled dictator, and are pressuring the United States and Europe to back off a "regime change", even as Venezuelans pour over their country's borders in search of food, clean water, medical care, and other basic necessities.

To date, President Maduro retains the levers of power.

"We welcome him and everyone who with honesty want to follow the constitution and the will of the Venezuelan people", he said on social media.

The country's foreign ministry issued a statement saying that far-left President Nicolas Maduro was suspending the expulsion of USA diplomats, to allow for a 30-day window to negotiate with American officials.

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