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Volunteers ready U.S. aid set for Venezuela as Maduro digs in

Volunteers ready U.S. aid set for Venezuela as Maduro digs in

The French group first began exploration in Venezuela back in 1980, and has been active in the exploration and production of extra-heavy crude oil and natural gas in the Latin American country.

Roughly 40 countries around the world have backed Guaido, who swore himself in as president in January.

The embattled Venezuelan leader dug in further Friday, contending the aid is part of a coup being orchestrated by the USA government.

However, Guaido has rejected any negotiations, seeing it as a way for Maduro to buy time.

Consultants Eurasia Group said on Thursday that Maduro's traditonal allies Russian Federation and China are "unlikely to lend (him) meaningful support", reinforcing its view that the socialist leader "will be unable to sustain his regime". "Maduro hasn't had a new line of credit since 2016", said Guaido.

Maduro, 56, has repeatedly accused the United States of fomenting a coup.

The socialist president "could accept negotiations in exchange for the lifting of sanctions and relaxing of global pressure", according to Ernesto Pascual, political scientist at the Open University of Catalonia.

European nations have been broadly critical of Maduro but have sought to strike a counterpoint to the aggressive USA stance by urging dialogue. "Venezuela is not suffering the humanitarian crisis made up by Washington over the last four years to justify intervening in our country".

A Venezuelan migrant prays in the Divina Providencia migrant shelter in Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, on February 7, 2019.

"The other practical problem is that, given the sanctions, we should no longer manage Venezuela from the United States. but from Europe", the manager said, noting that Total of course will be complying with the USA sanctions and has put its Venezuelan operations in a "hibernation mode".

Maduro has rejected humanitarian assistance, seeing it as a precursor to a USA military incursion.

This powerful photo of a bridge blocked by a tanker and shipping containers lays bare the heartbreaking reality of Venezuela's humanitarian crisis.




CNN reported that Guaido "is begging the military to let the goods enter the country, but President Nicolas Maduro [is] having none of it, insisting 'we are not beggars, '" and refusing to accept the charity. Venezuela's chief military attache to the United States also said he was defecting late last month.

Any military intervention would require consensus, unlikely to be forthcoming, according to Pascual, given the precedents of Iraq and Afghanistan.

But Maduro is still in control of the military and is using it as leverage to maintain power.

"The risk exists", says Leon.

Venezuela's dire situation has fuelled a political crisis that has peaked over the last month with Guaido invoking a constitutional provision to declare himself the legitimate, interim president.

Pascual says it's "unthinkable" the armed forces would abandon Maduro "because of the high command's vested interests in oil and mining". He suggested Guaido's offer was still too vague.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks to soldiers while he attends a military exercise in Turiamo, Venezuela February 3, 2019.

Guaido said the military has to decide whether to "take the side of the constitution" or to "continue on the side of an increasingly isolated dictator".

"There's an attempt to violate our national sovereignty with this "show" of a humanitarian operation by the government of Donald Trump", he said.

He is trying to bring in food and medicines from the USA but the supplies are stuck in warehouses in Colombia because the Venezuelan military has blocked their entry.

"Instead of trying to accommodate Maduro through contact groups or dialogue, we urge countries to recognize Juan Guaido as interim president and join us in responding to his call for immediate worldwide humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of the Venezuelan people", Abrams said.


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