Venezuelan victims demand punishment for abuses, despite amnesty plan

People demonstrate in the vicinity of a members of the Bolivarian National Guard command in Caracas Venezuela 21 January 2019

The United States and Canada also recognized Guaido - the 35-year-old leader of Venezuela's opposition-dominated National Assembly - as Venezuela's legitimate ruler.

"The leaders of Europe are sycophants, kneeling behind the policies of Donald Trump", he said, adding he was open to dialogue and that meeting Mr Trump was improbable but not impossible.

"We call on all members of the Security Council to support Venezuela's democratic transition and interim President Guaido's role".

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday (Jan 27) rejected a European ultimatum that he call elections as opposition rival Juan Guaido stepped up appeals to the military to turn against the leftist government.

The preferred outcome, Rubio said, is that Maduro leaves office and that within 30 to 45 days, Venezuela holds a new presidential election.

He underlined that Guaido's declaring himself acting president was "unlawful". Of course, it's a lot easier for Silva to say such things from the safety of Washington, D.C. Getting the actual army in Venezuela to follow his lead is another matter.

Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China and Belarus called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference.

"Amnesty is good as long as it is not for human rights violators", said Bonny de Simonovis, wife of Ivan Simonovis, a police chief arrested in 2002 and who is under house arrest.

The opposition leader also said he would consider amnesty for Mr Maduro and his allies if they don't hamper his ascension to temporary power. This is the US supporting the people of Venezuela, who want their constitution and democracy followed. Many in the global community condemned that vote and now consider the National Assembly, which Maduro has stripped of its power, the only legitimate institution.

Rulings by pro-government judges and the CNE thwarted opposition efforts to hold a referendum to revoke Maduro's presidency in 2016, a vote allowed under the constitution.

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But as the sun set on Venezuela's capital, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Maduro's government was suspending the expulsion to provide a 30-day window for negotiating with US officials about setting up a "U.S. interests office" in Venezuela and a similar Venezuelan office in the United States.

A few diplomats remain in the United States mission in Caracas.

"He [Trump] said, 'What do you think about using military force?' and I said, 'Well, you need to go slow on that, that could be problematic.' And he said, 'Well, I'm surprised, you want to invade everybody.'" Graham told the outlet.

Maduro, for his part, called for a "popular rebellion against the coup" on the streets of Venezuela.

Many have labelled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's second-term election win fraudulent.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza dismissed the deadline. Reuters reported last Friday that private military contractors who do secret missions for Russian Federation flew into Venezuela to beef up security for Mr Maduro.

That means the country, which depends nearly entirely on oil exports for hard currency, will be able to purchase even less food and other imports, exacerbating a severe recession that is already deeper than the US economic contraction during the Great Depression.

After Washington's declaration of support for Guaido, Maduro cut off diplomatic relations with the United States on Wednesday and gave US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.

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.

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