Israel recognizes opposition leader's new government in Venezuela

SA backs beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro

The U.S. and some Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil and Chile support Guaido, while countries like Russian Federation and Turkey have insisted that President Nicolas Maduro is the legitimate state leader of Venezuela.

Venezuelan armed groups loyal to Maduro have clashed with protesters supporting Guaido, leaving at least 20 people dead and many wounded, the United Nations human rights office said Friday.

A source familiar with the Trump administration's thinking on Venezuela told Fox News that the White House is encouraged by the fact that Venezuela's Defense Attache in Washington has publicly turned against Maduro and thrown his support behind opposition leader Guaido.

It called for a move "over the next days" toward new elections in Venezuela and entertained the idea of recognizing Guaido as Venezuela's leader if new elections are not announced.

The US has been pushing for the worldwide community to back Maduro's ouster. The Security Council's five veto-wielding permanent members could not unite behind a statement on Venezuela, presenting widely differing texts. "The name of the president is president Maduro", he said.

"China supports the efforts made by the Venezuelan government to uphold national sovereignty, independence and stability", he said.

While appearing at the United Nations on Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drew a clear line in the sand for member nations that apparently had a hard time deciding who to support in Venezuela.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that Israel had chose to recognize the opposition in Venezuela as the country's official government.




"Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side".

"Several European countries have been in touch with us and are going to support the entry of humanitarian aid".

Late Saturday, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Maduro's government was suspending the expulsion to provide a 30-day window for negotiating with USA officials about setting up a "U.S. interests office" in Venezuela and a similar Venezuelan office in the United States, according to the Associated Press. He said he also wanted his own diplomats "to defend Venezuelan interests in the U.S." comparing the arrangement to that of the US and Cuba, which had no diplomatic relations but maintained ties through lower-level officials in each country.

Venezuela's top commanders have pledged loyalty to Maduro's government in the days since National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself interim leader with the aim of calling new elections in accordance with the constitution.

Russian Federation has spent billions to build up its influence in Venezuela, and there are concerns that regime change could erase that investment. The domestic opposition, the United States and right-leaning Latin American governments declined to recognize the result of the vote.

Venezuela has sunk into turmoil under Maduro with food shortages and daily protests amid an economic and political crisis that has sparked mass emigration and inflation that is seen rising to 10 million percent this year. His supporters also rallied on the streets of Caracas after Guaido's statement. Many in the worldwide community condemned that vote and now consider the National Assembly, which Maduro has stripped of its power, the only legitimate institution.

The United States has signaled it was ready to step up economic measures to try to drive Maduro from power.

Directives sent Friday by the State Department to the Federal Reserve will make it harder for Maduro to gain access to the government's sizable overseas assets, including revenue from oil sales and profits by Houston-based Citgo, a unit of the state-owned oil giant PDVSA.

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