US Treasury Specifies Sanctions On Venezuelan Oil Imports

Foreign Secretary call with Juan Guaido: 30 January 2019

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 US will mobilize and transport humanitarian aid - medicine, surgical supplies and nutritional supplements - for the people of Venezuela".

"Mr. Maduro's time is running out, but in order to manage his exit with the minimum of bloodshed, all of Venezuela must unite in pushing for a definitive end to his regime", Guaido wrote, adding that any transition of power could not happen without support from "pro-democratic governments" and "key military contingents".

Pence will be joined by Carlos Vecchio, who this week was recognized by the State Department as Venezuela's top diplomat in the U.S.; Julio Borges, the former president of Venezuela's National Assembly; and Carlos Trujillo, the U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States.

Responding to the widespread recognition of Guaidó's presidency, Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov declared this week that the Kremlin would "do everything" to support the Maduro regime.

On Tuesday, the government-stacked Supreme Court barred Guaido from leaving the country and froze his bank accounts while chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab, a Maduro ally, conducts an investigation into his anti-government activities. Last week, street protests turned violent in days of unrest that killed almost three dozen people in clashes with government security forces.

Trump Demands a Wall From Congress, He’s Not Likely to Get It
It would also freeze the number of border patrol agents and block any wall construction in wildlife refuges along the border. What else did the president say? "The president needs to know that before he heads down that path", Cornyn said.

"Historically, what dictators do when they believe they are about to lose power, or worry about it, they basically take everything they can carry and they spirit it out of the country to some safe place", said R. Evan Ellis, a Latin America expert at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute.

Other commentators speculated - without solid evidence -that the planes may have brought Russian mercenaries to Venezuela, or that they were there to escort Maduro into exile.

"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 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.

Guaido said there would be something for everyone in society to do as Venezuela moves forward, including the military.

Earlier in the week, Maduro threatened the Unites States government with another "Vietnam" if they made a decision to physically intervene into Venezuela. At the end of the call, the Foreign Secretary told Mr Guaido he was a courageous and fearless man working for a brighter future for the people of Venezuela and that he would be discussing the crisis with other EU Foreign Ministers during a meeting on Thursday (31 January) in Bucharest.

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