Published: Thu, January 31, 2019
Markets | By Erika Turner

Venezuela power struggle heats up with Guaido curbs, protest plans

Venezuela power struggle heats up with Guaido curbs, protest plans

The high court, which is stacked with supporters of disputed president Nicolas Maduro, also blocked Guaido's financial accounts.

Juan Guaido who has declared himself as interim president said the regime only thought about repression and persecution, adding it was nothing new. Guaido's proclamation came after the opposition-controlled National Assembly declared Maduro's second term "illegitimate".

Rafael Tafuro, 65, a carpenter who was waiting for the subway in eastern Caracas on Wednesday morning, said that "of course" he would take part in the demonstrations.

"We are exhausted of so much misery, of not getting medicine, of spending the day looking for food from one place to another", 47-year-old Ana Bello told Al Jazeera, waving a flag.

An office worker who only wanted to be identified as Adriana because she feared possible repercussions from Maduro's government arrived at a walkout with a sign that read, "You also have reasons" to protest.

Outside the José Manuel de los Rios Hospital in northwest Caracas, about 100 employees filled the street, chanting and waving signs, as dozens of police officers looked on. Some nurses and doctors left the health centre and joined the protest. "We have contacts with them because we are concerned about things like the safety of Americans", Abrams told reporters. He said, "We hope the country that accuses others can do likewise itself".

He has also overseen an economic crisis that has forced millions of Venezuelans to flee.

Leyda Brito turned up at one of Wednesday's protests wearing a red helmet with the number 647. He has been recognized by the USA and other major countries as Venezuela's interim leader. "We have no future", he told Al Jazeera.

Guaido called for more protests on Wednesday and a mass march at the weekend, to keep up pressure on Maduro in the streets.

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Maduro accuses the opposition of staging a coup and says the U.S. is waging an economic war aimed at removing him from power.

Bolton, the national security adviser, said he had a "very productive meeting" on Wednesday with the executive team of Citgo, the USA -based refining business of Venezuela's state-owned oil firm PDVSA, two days after Washington slapped sanctions on PDVSA.

The fight to control Venezuela, which has the world's largest oil reserves, has intensified with new USA sanctions and legal moves that may bring Guaido's arrest.

In an interview with Moscow's RIA news agency, Mr Maduro (56), facing the biggest challenge to his rule since replacing Hugo Chavez six years ago, said Mr Trump had ordered neighbouring Colombia to murder him.

Embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro has posted a video in Spanish to social media, warning that there would be a new "Vietnam" in Venezuela if the United States doesn't change course. The sanctions announced Monday will freeze any assets the state-owned PDVSA has in the United States, and bars US firms and citizens from doing business with it.

"I am ready to sit at the negotiation table with the opposition for us to talk for the benefit of Venezuela", Maduro was quoted as saying. It's all about the vicious struggle of who is going to control Venezuela.

"I don't underestimate the threat of persecution at the moment, but here we are", he said. The last interesting news was that the U.S.' man in Venezuela, Guaido, appointed "representatives", including the Lima Group, to 10 countries.

Others, including retired bricklayer Aldres Romero blame the opposition for the political crisis.

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