May 26, 2019

Juan Guaido blasts Venezuela regime after security forces block congress

16 May 2019, 03:59 | Glen Norman

Colombian president calls for action on the crisis in Venezuela

“The future of Venezuela will be decided by the armed forces either they stay in power with the same government or they remove Maduro,” Heleno said

They said they planned to stay in the building despite warnings from law enforcement, defying USA government recognition of congressional leader Juan Guaidó's claim to be Venezuela's rightful leader.

"We are concerned Zambrano's arrest is a major escalation of the ongoing crackdown by the Maduro regime against the National Assembly", said a statement from the U.S. mission to the United States.

The National Assembly has come under increasing pressure from Maduro since the opposition appealed in vain for a military uprising on April 30.

"SEBIN agents, using the excuse that there's an explosive device within the facilities, took over the federal palace".

The ministry said giving protection to National Assembly member Franco Manuel Casella Lovaton did not indicate a change in Mexico's stance of not taking sides in the political crisis in Venezuela.

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He has previously accused the socialist leader of terrorism for his heavy-handed response to demonstrations. Incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

The United Nations plans to appoint a humanitarian coordinator soon to oversee a rollout of aid to Venezuela.

He said that Maduro had brought nothing but misery upon the Venezuelan people. The opposition leader has since been recognized by more than 50 countries, led by the United States. At least 33 were shot dead by the security forces, and six by government supporters.

"Authorities at the highest level, including Nicolas Maduro, knew about these public and appalling acts and took no measures to either prevent or investigate them", Amnesty said.

It came about after the National Assembly branded Maduro a usurper over his controversial re-election previous year in polls widely regarded as fraudulent.

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The UN also says that more than 2.7 million people have fled the country since 2015.

From early Tuesday, the security services cordoned off the building housing the National Assembly.

"This is a recurring theme".

Guaido's efforts at leading a national uprising against Maduro have so far failed because Maduro still has the support of the Venezuelan military. "There will be a session of the National Assembly, be it under a bridge or on a square", daily El Nacional quoted Stefanelli as saying.

According to him, the Russian support for dialogue, Venezuelans resolving their issues themselves without ultimatums and preconditions "is based on the notion that democracy should not be established by force".

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