Venezuela's military backs President Maduro, accuses challenger of 'coup'

With Venezuela convulsed by crisis, Trump's hawks take dramatic turn

With Venezuela convulsed by crisis, Trump's hawks take dramatic turn

Guaido's interim presidency has been supported by around a dozen countries, mostly Latin American ones, and the United States, Canada and France as well.

Defying Maduro, Guaido urged diplomats to stay put, in an open letter to embassies in the country.

While the Trump administration refuses to comply with Maduro's orders because it no longer recognizes him as Venezuela's leader, Time reported that some us diplomats did begin departing Caracas on Friday. Then RT America's Dan Cohen reports on the increasingly shrill back-and-forth between Washington and Caracas as well as Russian voices joining the mix, with President Putin denouncing the present USA interference in Venezuela as "a gross violation of the fundamental norms of global law".

"Amnesty is on the table", said Guaido, who just weeks earlier was named head of the opposition-controlled congress.

The armed forces have traditionally served as an arbiter of political disputes, though according to the constitution backed by Chavez they are "not at the service of any person or political partisanship".

The diplomat went on saying that Russian Federation has had no contacts and does not plan any with Venezuelan parliament speaker Juan Guaido, whom a few countries have recognized as Venezuela's head of state.

The United States and Britain said on Thursday that Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro is not legitimate, while Russian Federation and Turkey expressed their support to the legal authorities.

The US government, in response, on Thursday ordered the evacuation of all its non-essential personnel in Venezuela after Maduro gave them 72 hours to leave the country.

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In total, more than three million Venezuelans have left the country in the past three years.

Domestically, attention has been on Venezuela's military, a traditional arbiter of political disputes in the country, as a critical indicator of whether the opposition will succeed in establishing a new government. "It could get pretty ugly", said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a think tank on Western Hemisphere affairs in Washington. Maduro was elected a year ago in a vote widely seen as fraudulent.

Diplomats at the Organization of American States held an emergency meeting Thursday on the Venezuelan crisis, during which 16 nations recognized Guaido as interim president. We have our eye very closely on Venezuela.

One U.S. official said that is the case in part because the National Security Council and State Department both want to be in charge of communications about the situation.

Several former military leaders who remain in close contact with active troops said that for Guaido to even have a chance of winning over support from sectors of the military, he'd have to continue to galvanize the public and prove to skeptical military officers with much to lose that his promise of granting amnesty to those who promote change is honest.

Rebecca Sarfatti, a Toronto-based activist originally from Venezuela, says the retirement income her mother living in Caracas receives every month doesn't cover the cost of bread and cheese for more than two days.

Many Venezuelans were looking for Guaido to re-emerge and provide guidance on the opposition's next steps.

Rick Sanchez reports on the latest developments in Venezuela's intensifying political crisis.

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