Venezuela’s Guaido Says 600 Military Officers Have Abandoned Maduro

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Friday's sanctions target "six security officials who control numerous groups that prevented humanitarian aid from entering Venezuela, thereby exacerbating the humanitarian crisis that has left millions of Venezuelans starving and without access to medical care under the Maduro regime".

Some of the targeted officials oversee Venezuelan security units in regions bordering Colombia and Brazil, according to the statement.

The move sparked widespread civil unrest across Venezuela and Mr Guaido has faced difficulty cementing his position as president.

The United States has piled up a large amount of "humanitarian aid" in the Colombian border city of Cucuta and Brazilian city Boa Vista, near Brazil's border with Venezuela.

"As for USA plans to provide weapons to militants to destabilize the situation in Venezuela - frankly speaking, for invading this sovereign country - they certainly cause us concern", he said.

The United States and dozens of other nations have recognised Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate president but Maduro still controls the military, state institutions and oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, which provides 90 per cent of the country's export revenue.

Meanwhile, Russia is vowing to counter any attempts to meddle in Venezuelan domestic affairs as it pledges its support of the Maduro regime.

The resolution called for a free and fair presidential election in Venezuela and unhindered aid access.

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"The situation is tense in the USA for Donald Trump, what's happening domestically might force him to focus on domestic issues and get him distracted from the situation in Venezuela".

Opposition leader, and self-declared president, Juan Guaido announced he was going the other way on Sunday, tweeting he would return to Venezuela after visiting leaders across Latin America.

Earlier on Friday in Paraguay, he said 600 members of Venezuela's armed forces had already abandoned Maduro's government following the clashes over the aid.

Venezuela is undergoing "a frontal offensive and a shameless interference" in its internal affairs, and Russian Federation categorically opposes such attempts and upholds the ideals, norms and principles of the UN Charter, Lavrov said.

Friday's action is the second set of sanctions by the United States this week. I think that if he were arrested on his return, you would see a very large reaction on the part of the Venezuelan people and on the part of the global community.

Guaido has since been recognized by most Western nations as the rightful leader of Venezuela.

The United States said in January sanctions against PDVSA meant to make oil revenues available only to Guaido, who Washington considers Venezuela's interim president.

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