Red Cross talks to US about risks of sending Venezuela aid

What Russia stands to lose in Venezuela

Guaido has declared himself interim president of the country.

"I am carrying out my duties as commander-in-chief according to the Constitution consolidating the national Bolivarian armed forces", he said.

Aimed at driving Mr Maduro from power, the sanctions were the strongest measures yet against the 56-year-old former union leader who has overseen economic collapse and an exodus of millions of Venezuelans in recent years.

The National Assembly is the only one of Venezuela's five government branches controlled by the opposition.

He said that in the coming days, the opposition would try to move humanitarian aid into the country by land and sea along three border points, including the Colombian city of Cucuta.

"Presidential elections in Venezuela have taken place, and if imperialists want new elections let them wait until 2025", he said in an apparent reference to Washington. The regional bloc has not yet defined its position on the crisis amid differing opinions among members, though several nations have said they will recognize Guaido if Maduro doesn't announce a new election by week's end.

"We've never been nor are a country of beggars", he told thousands of his supporters in the heart of Caracas.

Guaido called the surprise visit "cowardly" and said it "crossed the red line". "The time has come to end the Maduro dictatorship once and for all". The opposition and a large segment of the worldwide community consider Maduro's reelection fraudulent, in part because the president's most popular adversaries were barred from running.

"People of Venezuela, 90 per cent of the armed forces of Venezuela are not with the dictator, they are with the people of Venezuela", Gen Yanez said in the video.

The high command's web page lists Yanez, along with a photo, as the air force's head of strategic planning.

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On Monday, the 27th of January, 2019, the USA administration had imposed a sweeping sanction on PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil firm, which used to export around 5,20,000 barrels of heavy crude per day to U.S. refineries.

The Venezuelan air force posted a picture of Yanez on its Twitter account tagged with the word "traitor".

Will Nicolas Maduro be ousted by a foreign military or forced out in a coup?

On January 21, a group of 27 soldiers rose up against Maduro in Caracas, although that was quickly suppressed.

The mutiny was quickly put down and 27 soldiers were arrested, but it kicked off a week of violent clashes with security forces that the United Nations said left 40 dead and 850 arrested.

But it is unclear how much concrete military backing there is for Guaido.

Bolton referenced his tweet on Thursday, adding, "the sooner he takes advantage of that, the sooner he's likely to have a nice, quiet retirement on a pretty beach rather than being in some other beach area like Guantanamo", referring to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in eastern Cuba, where the USA has held suspected terrorists captured during the war on terror.

Turkey, Russia and China opposed the US call to support Guaido and condemned any worldwide interference in Venezuela's internal affairs. Maduro still has the backing of Russian Federation and China.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said cooperation between the countries would continue "no matter how the situation changes" in Venezuela.

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