World: Venezuela opposition envoys in Rome to press Guaido's cause - PressFrom - US
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WorldVenezuela opposition envoys in Rome to press Guaido's cause

22:26  11 february  2019
22:26  11 february  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Venezuela's Maduro says Guaido will have to answer before courts

Venezuela's Maduro says Guaido will have to answer before courts Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro threatened opposition leader Juan Guaido with facing the courts "sooner or later" for violating the constitution by anointing himself legitimate head-of-state, according to an interview published on Wednesday. Guaido invoked a constitutional provision to assume the presidency three weeks ago, arguing that Maduro's re-election last year was a sham. Most Western countries, including the United States, have recognized Guaido, but Maduro retains control of state institutions including the military.

Venezuela opposition envoys in Rome to press Guaido's cause© Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's Guaido takes part in religious event in Caracas

VATICAN CITY/CARACAS (Reuters) - Envoys for Venezuela's self-declared caretaker leader Juan Guaido met Vatican officials and lobbied the Italian government for support on Monday in their quest to keep international pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The Vatican, which has offered to mediate, called for respect for rights and avoidance of bloodshed after Guaido's bid to end two decades of increasingly authoritarian leftist rule in the volatile OPEC member nation of 30 million people.

Venezuela's Guaido warns military on blocked aid

Venezuela's Guaido warns military on blocked aid Opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized by some 50 countries as Venezuela's interim president, warned the military Sunday that blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country is a "crime against humanity." require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The warning comes as international aid has taken center stage in a test of wills between Guaido and President Nicolas Maduro in which the military is seen as the pivotal player.

Members of the Vatican Secretariat of State met a delegation including Francisco Sucre, president of the foreign affairs commission of Venezuela's National Assembly, and Antonio Ledezma, former mayor of Caracas.

They also met Italy's deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.

"We're in Italy to seek more support for our President @jguaido," tweeted Ledezma. "We're doing well, but we need to finish this with victory."

The Vatican "underscored the deep concern that a just and peaceful solution could be found urgently to overcome the crisis while respecting human rights, seeking the good of all the country's people and avoiding bloodshed," it said in a statement.

Pope Francis has said the Vatican could mediate if both sides asked. Maduro wants that, but Venezuela's opposition is skeptical given past dialogue failures and Guaido says the starting point for any talks must be Maduro's exit.

Venezuela prosecutor to investigate Guaido appointments

Venezuela prosecutor to investigate Guaido appointments Venezuela's chief prosecutor says he's launched an investigation into opposition leader Juan Guaido's appointment of a transitional board of directors for the state oil company. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Attorney General Tarek William Saab said the appointments by Guaido and his National Assembly are part of an illegal power grab backed by foreign governments.

Venezuela opposition envoys in Rome to press Guaido's cause© Reuters/Adriano Machado FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan exiled veteran opposition figure and former mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma wears an Order Medal Of Cruzeiro Do Sul after receiving it form Brazil's Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia

Venezuela's opposition regards Maduro as an incompetent dictator who has wrecked their economy and crushed dissent, while he calls them puppets of Washington seeking a coup in order to control the nation's vast oil reserves.

Rank-and-file opposition supporters, though often Roman Catholics, are suspicious of the Vatican given its support of past talks that have enabled Maduro to win time and survive various waves of protests.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin calls the Holy See's stance "positive neutrality", saying it has to stay above both sides if it is to help.

US ready to waive sanctions on Venezuela officers backing Guaido

US ready to waive sanctions on Venezuela officers backing Guaido Washington is prepared to exempt Venezuelan military leaders from punitive sanctions if they recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American nation's interim leader, President Donald Trump's national security advisor said Wednesday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "The U.S. will consider sanctions off-ramps for any Venezuelan senior military officer that stands for democracy and recognizes the constitutional government of President Juan Guaido," John Bolton said on Twitter.

The Venezuela conflict has fed into a wider geopolitical struggle. Along with U.S. President Donald Trump, numerous Latin American and European nations have recognized Guaido as interim president and backed his calls for a new, free election.

But other powers, including Russia and China who have billions of dollars invested and loaned to Caracas, have denounced outside interference and backed Maduro.

Breaking the unity of other major European countries, Italy's coalition government is divided over Venezuela.

Salvini, far-right leader of the Northern League party and also interior minister, favors recognizing Guaido, but its coalition partner the 5-Star Movement believes that is a bad precedent.

Salvini telephoned Guaido while the Venezuelan delegation was visiting him, stressing his opposition to Maduro and support for a new vote, his office said.

Guaido, who heads Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly, invoked a constitutional provision last month to declare himself president.

As well as the Vatican, Norway, another traditional international mediator, has also offered to help with dialogue.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella in Rome, Vivian Sequera in Caracas, Nerijus Adomaitis in Oslo; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

EU to Back Guaido as Venezuela's Interim President.
The 28-country bloc will join the U.S., Canada and Australia in opposition to Nicolás Maduro.

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