Australia recognises Juan Guaidó as Venezuela president

Tuesday, 29 Jan, 2019

Maduro, who so far appears to have the backing of the decisive military, has dug in, accusing the US of orchestrating a coup by encouraging Guaido to declare himself interim president and then leading a chorus of nations that immediately recognized his rule.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro rejected on Sunday a European ultimatum that he call elections as opposition rival Juan Guaido stepped up appeals to the military to turn against the leftist government.

The United States, along with growing number of Western nations and regional neighbors including the UK, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, have recognized Guaido as acting president. Some 75 per cent of the country's cash-generating oil shipments go the U.S., according to Barclays, but Mr Maduro retains the support of Russia, China, Turkey and Iran and is likely to divert shipments to them.

Of course, Bolton also repeated the usual lines, claiming the U.S. intervention in Venezuela's domestic politics was about ousting an "authoritarian" leader and protecting democracy and human rights - but the comments about oil betrayed what many have suggested is the underlying reason and driving force behind the White House's interference.

Russia, meanwhile, called for the United States and Europe to cease interfering in Venezuela.

Still, US National security adviser John Bolton cautioned that any threat on a US diplomat or Gaido would yield a forceful reaction.

Guaido, 35, declared himself interim president on Wednesday after Maduro was sworn in for a second term.

Speaking off-the-cuff at his Sunday blessing, he said said he felt particularly close to Venezuelans while he was in Panama.

"Nobody gives us an ultimatum, he said".

"It is most important now that Venezuelans themselves should settle all differences that can be between them in the framework of the constitution and the only help that all of us can offer is not to meddle in the situation like certain countries are doing directly", Peskov stressed.

Britain, Germany, France, and Spain all said they would recognize Guaido unless fresh elections were announced.

However, Maduro fired back at the European demand in an interview with CNN Turk.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza dismissed the deadline.

In a press conferences, Guaido urged his followers to stage another mass protest next week, while Maduro pushed his call for dialogue.

Trump last week announced that the US would recognize Guaido as the legitimate president of the country.

Citgo, which is owned by PDVSA, will be permitted to continue operating in the U.S.so long as money goes into a blocked account that Maduro can not access.

Countries such as Turkey, Cuba, Bolivia, Uruguay and Mexico - as well as Iran and North Korea - continue to recognise the 56 year-old Maduro.

At a special UN Security Council session Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Maduro as part of an "illegitimate mafia state" responsible for Venezuela's economic collapse.

"Today I speak to the people of Venezuela, and especially to my brothers in the armed forces of the nation, to recognize President Juan Guaido as the only legitimate president", Silva said in the video.