Published: Sun, February 03, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Maduro Proposes Snap Elections in Venezuela's Parliament

Maduro Proposes Snap Elections in Venezuela's Parliament

In a YouTube video, Gen Yanez said: "The transition to democracy is imminent". President of Mexico and Uruguay have jointly called a conference in Montevideo next Thursday for neutral countries to discuss the crisis.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Friday listened to harrowing stories of deprivation, torture and escape from Venezuelans who fled their homeland, and pledged to ramp up pressure to help the opposition trying to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

"Pursuant to the request of Interim President Juan Guaido, and in consultation with his officials the USA will mobilize and transport humanitarian aid-medicine, surgical supplies, and nutritional supplements for the people of Venezuela". The United States has recognized Guaidó as the legitimate president in Venezuela over the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro that has been in power for two decades.

A Venezuelan air force general has defected from the administration of President Nicolas Maduro and called on his compatriots to participate in protests against the socialist leader's rule.

"We're also looking at cutting off other streams of revenue and assets for the Maduro mafia, and that certainly includes gold".

Canada and several Latin American nations have already officially recognized Guiado.

Italian daily La Stampa asked Guaido in an interview in Caracas what the Vatican or the pope could do to avoid a worsening of Venezuela's political crisis.

He has accused the USA of orchestrating a coup against his government but said he is open to dialogue with the opposition, but not new national elections.

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Maduro on Saturday will also hold a rally to commemorate the 20th anniversary of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez's first inauguration as president in 1999.

Gen. Francisco Yanez is the first high ranking officer to leave Maduro's government since January 23, when National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself the country's legitimate leader. Last week, street protests turned violent in days of unrest that killed almost three dozen people in clashes with government security forces.

"There is no possible discussion here. Maduro has to leave", Sucre told The Associated Press in Madrid, where he is wrapping up a three-day European tour to enlist support for Guaido.

The European Parliament has called on the EU's member states to recognize Guaido as interim president.

The United States is also monitoring trade between its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey and Venezuela and will take action if it judges any sanctions have been violated, a senior USA official said in Istanbul.

"Power is evaporating from Maduro's hands with the passing of the hours", Sucre said.

But the Argentine-born pontiff said a few days earlier that although he is terrified there could be a bloodbath in Venezuela, his pastoral role doesn't let him take sides. "We started to make noise", he said.

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