Guaido won't rule out US intervention in Venezuela

Protesters gathered outside the Bank of England today calling for the return of Venezuelan gold

Protesters gathered outside the Bank of England today calling for the return of Venezuelan gold

The Donald Trump administration expects further military defections from Maduro's side, the official told Reuters in an interview, despite only a few senior officers having done so since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president last month, earning the recognition of the USA and dozens of other countries.

National Assembly leader Guaido told AFP he would do "everything that is necessary... to save human lives", acknowledging that USA intervention is "a very controversial subject".

Yet, all these wrongdoings combined can not entitle his opponent Juan Guaido, the speaker of parliament, to declare himself as the interim president.

Maduro has been refusing humanitarian aid for years despite widespread hunger and a critical shortage of medicine that has spurred millions of Venezuelans to flee their country to seek the fulfillment of their basic needs.

Guaido, speaking on Friday at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, said that if Maduro continues to prevent the entry of a shipment of humanitarian aid from the neighbouring Colombia, the opposition would mobilise to create a corridor so the assistance could reach Venezuelans in need.

The US intelligence community is directly communicating with members of Venezuela's military in attempts to convince them to abandon beleaguered President Nicolas Maduro while also considering additional sanctions to ramp up the pressure, a senior White House official divulged to Reuters.

Guaido says 300,000 people could die if desperately-needed aid isn't brought in. But bringing in humanitarian aid is crucial to Guaido's challenge to Maduro's authority.

"The first stage is containing the sanitation emergency".

Helping the needy is not Guaido's only aim, though.

Members of the South American country's security forces fear they or their families could be targeted by Maduro if they defect, so the USA would need to offer them something that could outweigh those concerns, said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas think tank in Washington.

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Those born in "pig" years were considered kind, generous, magnanimous, warm-hearted and considerate, and were leaders, he said. As one of China's most ubiquitous domestic animals, it has always been an essential part of the country's culture.

Guaido says the constitution allows him to assume power, set up a transitional government and hold new elections - one of his key demands that has received widespread worldwide support.

"We'll do everything we have to in a sovereign and autonomous manner to end the usurpation, (establish) the transitional government and (hold) free elections", said Guaido.

And he still has faith that the military can be won over, appealing to their sense of humanity.

"The armed forces have a huge dilemma, whether or not to accept the aid. It would be nearly miserable at this point of huge necessity not to accept it", he said.

"The package is very nice on the outside: humanitarian aid".

"We have to go deeper into that, we saw a division general speak openly a few days ago, we saw some sergeants of the National Guard show discontent and they are being tortured". "One of the sergeants' relatives is missing".

Consultants Eurasia Group predicted on Thursday that Maduro "will be unable to sustain his regime".

"I'm not very anxious..."

Maduro, after launching a signature-gathering campaign against alleged USA interference, has repeatedly stressed his sentiment that the main objective behind Washington's interest in the political outcome in Venezuela is the nation's oil reserves, said to the largest in the world.

United States ambassador Kevin Whitaker, until Trump's election one of the most respected diplomats in Colombia, shamelessly proved Maduro right on Friday, sinking his country's already tarnished reputation even further.

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