Maduro rejects call for elections amid mounting pressure

Posted January 29, 2019

Last week, the Trump administration allegedly requested that Israel publicly endorse the U.S.'s efforts to force Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to resign and to back Guaido as the interim president.

The Trump adminstration has warned Venezuela that any violence or intimidation against its diplomats or opposition leader Juan Guaido, will be met with what it calls a "significant response".

Rubio praised the Trump administration for taking the action, which follows its earlier decision to recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president.

Guaido, 35, heads the opposition-controlled National Assembly and declared himself acting president in Caracas on Wednesday during an anti-government rally by tens of thousands of people.

France and Britain on Saturday joined Spain and Germany in turning up the pressure on Maduro, saying they would follow the U.S. and others in recognizing Guaido unless Venezuela called new presidential elections within eight days. "We have to wonder, if Trump and [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo are so anxious about human rights and democracy in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, why do they actively support awful regimes in Brazil, Guatemala, and Honduras?" "And those arrogant, overbearing attitudes, looking down on us, because we are "sudacas", inferior to them", he told CNN Turk.

Maduro was succeeded late President Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez-himself the victim of an allegedly CIA-supported coup in 2002-after his death in 2013.

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Maduro's government on several occasions has threated to arrest the 35-year-old lawmaker, accusing him of violating the constitution and acting as a "puppet" of a USA coup attempt.

Trump last week announced that the US would recognize Guaido as the legitimate president of the country.

Guaido took advantage of a major street demonstration on January 23 to swear himself in as the country's rightful leader, accusing Maduro of usurping power following a disputed 2018 re-election that countries around the world described as a fraud.

Ahead of the grand military drills, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has visited several bases, so as to demonstrate his legitimacy is backed by the army ready to defend the nation from any potential foreign interventions.

Venezuelan oil exports to the US have declined steadily over the years, falling particularly sharply over the past decade as its production plummeted amid its long economic and political crisis.

He contends that Maduro's reelection to a second six-year term was fraudulent.

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Mr Maduro is still clinging to power and continues to have the support of the military at this stage.

This weekend, Guaido's supporters maintained a united front from NY and Brussels to the streets of Caracas, and the country's military attache in Washington declared allegiance to the newcomer.

She also noted that the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain also stated over the weekend that they, too, recognize Guaido and would continue to do so unless free and democratic elections are held in the country by Saturday.

"Venezuelan soldier, I'm talking to you". That's because Venezuela's oil shipments to China and Russian Federation are usually taken as repayment for billions of dollars in debts.

A United Nations official said Friday that at least 20 people had been killed in protest-related violence last week, while the nongovernmental Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict on Friday pegged the tally at 29 since Wednesday night.

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