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U.S. talking to Venezuela's Maduro regime over embassy: envoy

31 January 2019

Also, South American trade bloc Mercosur suspended Venezuela in 2016. They intensified the fight to control Venezuela, an OPEC nation that has the world's largest oil reserves.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton warned American businesses not to "deal in gold, oil, or other Venezuelan commodities being stolen from the Venezuelan people by the Maduro mafia".

James Risch, R-Idaho, speaks to members of the media after meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.

In the video, apparently shot within the lavish confines of Caracas's Miraflores palace and featuring a European-style fountain in the background, Maduro claims that the socialist Venezuelan regime is "democratic" and that images of Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) troops loyal to him beating, torturing, and killing unarmed dissidents were "doctored".

Protesters said they were heeding the opposition's call for another mass demonstration despite the heavy-handed response by security forces over the last week to quell anti-government protests.

Vargas believes fresh sanctions imposed this week will only aggravate the hardship of Venezuelans, already suffering from chronic food and medicine shortages.

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His comments still appeared to be a concession in a long standoff as Maduro braves a tide of criticism in which the leader of congress and major countries led by the United States press for Maduro to yield power in the oil-rich country beset by an acute economic crisis, crime and other woes.

Inflation is running at 311,000 percent over the past 12 months, the economy has contracted for five consecutive years and oil output is sinking, deepening a humanitarian crisis that's seen more than 3 million people flee the country.

U.S. President Donald Trump is telling Americans to not go to Venezuela, where there's major political turmoil.

Bolton, the national security adviser, said he had a "very productive meeting" on Wednesday with the executive team of Citgo, the USA -based refining business of Venezuela's state-owned oil firm PDVSA, two days after Washington slapped sanctions on PDVSA.

Venezuela was plunged into political turmoil last week after the United States recognised Guaido, 35, as acting president, while Russian Federation has continued to back Maduro. Maas said free and fair elections needed to be held quickly.

Support from the Venezuelan military is "crucial" to efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro, opposition leader Juan Guaido wrote in The New York Times on Wednesday. He is unlikely to back down unless that changes.

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"I'm going out now more than ever", said Sobeia Gonzalez, 63.

"It is a strategic resource in that sense", Monaldi said, adding that the company also allowed Venezuela to have a lobbying voice in the U.S. oil industry.

Leyda Brito turned up at one of Wednesday's protests wearing a red helmet with the number 647.

More than 40 people have died so far in and around the protests that began a week ago, the United Nations human rights office said. The average Venezuelan lost 24 pounds in 2017 and hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of death from malnutrition. He ordered the creation of 50,000 popular defense units, community groups charged with the "integral defense of the fatherland".

Opposition National Assembly President Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president of Venezuela.

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U.S. talking to Venezuela's Maduro regime over embassy: envoy