Venezuela Opposition in Push to Oust Maduro

A National Police officer fires rubber bullets during the protest against Maduro in Caracas

A National Police officer fires rubber bullets during the protest against Maduro in Caracas

"The United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata", said the U.S. State Department in a statement, CNBC reports.

"The United States does not recognise the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela".

To leave Venezuela, he sneaked across the lawless border with Colombia, so as not to raise suspicions among immigration officials who sometimes harass opposition figures at the airport and bar them from traveling overseas, said a different anti-government leader, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss security arrangements.

He said in a news conference in Caracas that Arreaza would take "Venezuela's truth" to the UN.

"China has consistently pursued the principle of not interfering with other countries' internal politics, and opposes the interference (in) Venezuelan affairs by external forces", said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a press briefing in Beijing.

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna too slammed Trump for his new policy on Venezuela. "There is no doubt the Maduro's economic policies have been bad, and he has engaged in financial mismanagement and also political authoritarianism", he said. "If the middle- and low-ranking troops don't express their disagreement within the next two days, we can assume they're standing by their leadership". Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the information committee at the Russian Federation Council, called Guaido's declaration "an attempted coup" backed by the U.S.

Maduro added, "If they want to buy potatoes, we will sell potatoes".

The State Department in a notice said it had "ordered non-emergency U.S. government employees to depart Venezuela".

The split has led to Moscow issuing a stern warning to Washington that military intervention would be a "path to lawlessness and bloodshed".

United Nations human rights boss Michelle Bachelet called on Friday for an independent investigation into alleged excessive use of force by Venezuelan security forces or allied militia, citing reports of at least 20 people killed this week.

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The United States has also endorsed Guaido and called on Maduro to step down.

Most Latin American nations have joined the United States in supporting Guaido's claim on the presidency, although Mexico's new leftist government has said it would not take sides.

Maduro quickly shot back, cutting off diplomatic relations with the USA and giving US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.

Trump has openly mused about military intervention in Venezuela, saying "all options are on the table", but Russian Federation said that "violates the fundamental norms of worldwide law".

Guaido, a virtually unknown lawmaker at the start of the year, has reignited the hopes of Venezuela's often beleaguered opposition by taking a rebellious tack amid Venezuela's crushing economic crisis.

Mr Maduro's administration could also crack down on Mr Guaido.

With so much global support for the opposition leader, some political analysts believe the military could switch there alliance away from the incumbent Mr Maduro.

"We are still preparing for any potential change in the number of refugees and migrants leaving Venezuela", UNHCR spokeswoman Liz Throssell told a news briefing.

Mr Guaido has said he would be willing to replace Mr Maduro with the support of the military and to call free elections.

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