The Debate - Showdown in Venezuela: Can Guaido win over the military?

US gives Juan Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets

US gives Juan Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets

At the White House, US Vice President Mike Pence met with Guaido's appointed charge d'affaires in the United States, Carlos Vecchio, to discuss the crisis.

Driving the crisis was Mr Maduro's decision to ignore worldwide opposition and take the presidential oath on January 10 for a second term widely considered illegitimate after his main opponents were banned from running against him.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump and Guaido also committed to maintaining "regular communication to support Venezuela's path back to stability, and to rebuild the bilateral relationship" between the two countries.

With the crisis deepening a showdown between Washington and Moscow across various global flashpoints, Maduro also expressed "pleasure and gratitude" for Putin's help.

"If the aim of the United States is to invade, they'll have a Vietnam worse than can be imagined".

Maduro said other countries could mediate, mentioning Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, the Vatican and Russian Federation as possible candidates.

The disputed president Nicolás Maduro is still clinging on to power and has broken diplomatic ties with the USA government. He said he was aware of Trump's alleged "orders" for the Colombian government and the local mafia to kill him.

On Tuesday Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton was photographed holding a note stating "5,000 troops to Columbia". National Assembly president Guaido wants Maduro to step down so he can set up a transitional government ahead of new elections.

She said Moscow and Beijing have grown wary of USA and European foreign interventions after their decisions to help topple the governments of Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.




Mr Maduro, who lacks the military pedigree of his mentor, Mr Chavez, has sought to shore up support from the armed forces by doling out key posts to top generals, including heading the PDVSA oil monopoly that is the source of virtually all of Venezuela's export earnings.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified that Guaido has the authority to take control of any Venezuelan government accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY or any other U.S. -insured banks.

He added the threat of us sanctions, including cutting off Venezuelan oil revenues, contributed to the apparent softening of Maduro's stance.

A former union leader, bus driver and foreign minister, Maduro has overseen a shrinking economy and the migration of 3 million Venezuelans fleeing shortages and hyperinflation.

Maduro calls his regime a "solid democracy", despite overwhelming evidence that he has orchestrated fraudulent elections for most of his tenure, most prominently in May 2018, when he was "elected" president in an election barring opposition candidates from running. "I support what they're doing, but I don't like protests".

Although in opposition hands since 2015, the National Assembly has been sidelined since 2016 as the Supreme Court - dominated by regime loyalists - annuls its every decision.

Last week, a group of soldiers rose up against Maduro. Trump also said there's a "Massive protest expected today".

But given the failure of previous rounds of dialogue between the government and opposition, including one led by the Vatican, opponents are suspicious, believing Maduro uses them to quell protests and buy time. According to the United Nations, at least 40 people have already been killed in clashes since the power struggle erupted last week.

Maduro's allies blame the opposition for the violence and deny the high death toll as well as reports that minors were among those arrested.

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