Published: Sat, May 04, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Venezuela's neighbors accuse Maduro of protecting 'terrorist groups' in Colombia

Venezuela's neighbors accuse Maduro of protecting 'terrorist groups' in Colombia

- On the same day, U.S. President Donald Trump said that the United States had recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation's "interim president".

After two days of massive street demonstrations against his government, the embattled Maduro said at a televised event with the military high command, "Yes, we are in combat; keep morale high in this fight to disarm any traitor, any coup plotter".

On Tuesday, Guaido posted a video on social media showing him standing alongside a small contingent of uniformed military personnel and armored vehicles in which he called for an uprising to end Maduro's rule.

- On Jan. 23, Guaido, president of Venezuela's National Assembly, proclaimed himself "interim president" of the country.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is attending an emergency meeting of the Lima Group in Peru today, as Venezuela is sinking back into political stalemate following a failed military coup attempt by the Western-backed opposition.

The United States has refused to take the threat of military action off the table in its push to oust Maduro - although so far has so far limited its campaign to ramping up sanctions. But Nicolas Maduro continues to cling to power, and some analysts say America's options are narrowing. It introduced harsh economic sanctions and even threatened a so-called "humanitarian intervention" to remove the socialist government from power in oil-rich Venezuela. Despite Guaido's best efforts, the military has remained loyal to Maduro. The protest call by Guaido comes just days after he urged the military to rise up against Maduro.

As major world powers have been drawn in, the United States has thrown its support behind Guaido and Russian Federation and China have backed Maduro.

"He is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he'd like to see something positive happen for Venezuela", Trump said of Putin. "Right now people are starving".

Venezuela has suffered five years of recession marked by shortages of basic necessities as well as failing public services, including water, electricity and transport.

Trump's tone struck a contrast with that of his top advisors, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, who tweeted bluntly that "Maduro must go".

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