Saturday, 16 February, 2019

US Revokes Venezuela Visas, Rejects Dialogue With Nicolas Maduro

The containers were positioned across the road ahead of an anticipated humanitarian aid shipment The containers were positioned across the road ahead of an anticipated humanitarian aid
Ginger Lawrence | 09 February, 2019, 05:25

Juan Caicedo, a spokesperson from Migration Colombia, Colombia's Ministry of Immigration and Immigration Control, said the Venezuelan military put the blockade into place Tuesday afternoon, adding that there are cameras monitoring activity on the bridge.

Guaido has actively courted members of the military with promises of amnesty and preferential legal treatment if they disavow Maduro and disobey his orders, and Washington this week raised the prospect of dropping sanctions on senior Venezuelan officers if they recognize Guaido.

'The revolution is more alive than ever, ' Maduro said.

Colombian policewomen walk past boxes with U.S. humanitarian aid goods in Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Tachira, Venezuela, on February 8, 2019. However, massive crowds have demonstrated against President Nicolas Maduro for a variety of reasons related to the country's political and economic crisis, facilitated in large part by drastic U.S. sanctions.

On January 23, Guaido, the president of the National Assembly, used an obscure part of the Venezuelan constitution to declare himself interim president. And despite the appearance of cracks in the edifice of military loyalty to Maduro, the high command is still with the socialist leader.

U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker said the U.S. will get supplies to the border, and Guaido will take it from there.

With worldwide pressure intensifying on President Nicolas Maduro to step aside and support growing for his opposition rival Juan Guaido, Venezuela is poised on a knife-edge, say analysts.

"If not, the worldwide financial circle will be closed off completely", Bolton said on Twitter, urging the officers to "make the right choice".

The emergency supplies have become the focus of Venezuela's political struggle between President Nicolas Maduro and Guaido, who declared interim presidential powers in late January, accusing Maduro of being illegitimate following an election previous year widely viewed as a sham.

U.S. President Trump acknowledged in an interview Sunday the use of U.S. military force in Venezuela is "an option".

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Senators Marco Rubio (Florida-Republican) and Lindsey Graham, (South Carolina-Republican), two key lawmakers that support increasing diplomatic economic sanctions against the Maduro government, have been reluctant to advocate for military intervention.

Guaido held talks with European Union representatives in Caracas earlier Wednesday "to consolidate their support for the democratic transition" adding that he would send a delegation to holdout state Italy to present his "action plan to relaunch democracy".

At Maduro's request, Pope Francis said he would be willing to mediate but only if both parties were willing.

President Nicolas Maduro has refused foreign aid shipments, saying they would open the way for U.S. military intervention to depose him. Maduro's security forces used freight containers and a tanker trailer to block the global bridge near where the aid is arriving.

"Imperialism does not help anyone in the world", he told Russia Today. Opposition leaders said three countries in the region will become aid hubs and that some nations, like Colombia, will likely have more than one collection site.

In Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was doubling its resources to cope with the crisis, where food and medicine shortages have pushed 2.3 million people to flee since 2015.

Maduro also accused US President Donald Trump of orchestrating a coup.

Venezuela supports the dialogue process proposed by Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and the Community of Caribbean Countries (CARICOM), Maduro said at a press conference in the Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

The EU and several Latin American countries are meeting in Montevideo to try to defuse the crisis. 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.