USA gives control over bank accounts to Venezuela challenger

Thursday, 31 Jan, 2019

A week into the crisis, Maduro said he is willing to talk with Guaido.

Massive opposition protests are planned across Venezuela for Saturday. "The odds are its attitude to them will be not very friendly, but I do not think that all Russian investment contracts will enjoy the same treatment", Pantulas said.

Several smaller protests were held throughout the capital Caracas including in the neighbourhood of Altamira in the eastern part of the city. The bank did not respond to a request for comment.

He said the certification would "help Venezuela's legitimate government safeguard those assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people".

"The United States is a great country and it is much bigger than Donald Trump", he said.

But given the failure of previous rounds of dialogue between the government and opposition, including one led by the Vatican, opponents are suspicious, believing Maduro uses them to quell protests and buy time. Government officials insist the next presidential election will be in 2025.

Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice barred self-declared president Juan Guaido from leaving the country and froze his bank accounts Tuesday, January 29, as leader Nicolas Maduro seeks to neutralize the American-backed opposition chief.

Venezuelan protesters demonstrated in support of the interim presidency of Juan Guaido, in Caracas on January 30.

Sorbay Pailla said she last heard from her husband, retired National Guard Col. Oswaldo Garcia Palomo, on Sunday after he entered the country clandestinely from Colombia.

Millions have been left in poverty, while 2.3 million more have fled the country, unleashing a migration crisis in South America. One went to Peru, and another to the Dominican Republic.

More than 40 people are believed to have been killed in political violence last week, including 26 shot by pro-Government forces, five killed in house raids and 11 during looting, United Nations human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said. Hundreds have also been arrested, including children.

"Venezuela is set on change", Mr Guaido said.

"The regime is in its final throes", said Guaido.

Oil prices held steady on Wednesday, as Venezuela supply concerns were offset by the bleak global economic outlook. He's since been recognized by two dozen states including the USA which says it's going to funnel Venezuela state oil payments his way.

The bold challenge immediately drew recognition from the Trump administration, which called on Mr Maduro to resign and said it would use the "full weight" of United States economic and diplomatic power to push for the restoration of Venezuela's democracy. During Wednesday's interview with RIA, Maduro accused Trump of ordering his assassination, saying, "Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me". He huddled with military troops early Wednesday and has overseen military exercises in recent days while seeking to consolidate support from the armed forces.