Trump Says US Military Intervention in Venezuela ‘An Option;’ Russia Objects

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Mr. Guaido is in a leadership showdown with socialist President Nicolas Maduro, whose regime has been accused of crimes against humanity, including ordering the military to commit extrajudicial killings and use excessive force against protesters.

Europe's support has not gone down well with Russian Federation, one of the first countries to throw its support behind Maduro as the crisis evolved.

Weber said the current rules on unanimity must be scrapped in favor of a majority voting system, "otherwise we will always be weak and not capable to deliver".

A top air force general publicly sided with Guaido on Saturday. He posted a video on YouTube declaring his country's transition to democracy was "imminent". Maduro said in an interview with Italy's Sky TG24 that he hopes the letter is in route or has reached the Vatican.

The group will also suspend military cooperation with the Venezuelan government and said in a declaration that it will evaluate restricting loans to the Venezuelan government at organizations of which Lima Group countries are members.

Russia, one of the main allies of Maduro's regime, slammed what it dubbed European "interference" in the oil-rich but impoverished Latin American country, saying it was an attempt "to legitimise usurped power".

Western Hemisphere nations were set to add to the pressure Monday during a meeting in Canada of the Lima Group, which includes 13 countries that have been vocal in denouncing Maduro.

The United States recognised Guaido, who heads Venezuela's National Assembly, in late January when he declared himself the country's legitimate leader after maintaining that a presidential election past year was rigged to keep Maduro in power.

"Unfortunately we are still under a dictatorship in Venezuela at the moment".

If all European countries follow in the footsteps of the Trump Administration, their decision to recognise Guaido could potentially cut the Venezuelan Government off from any accounts or assets in those countries. "I would like to reaffirm. our actions and our co-operation with the Lima Group, along with Canada, and all the countries".

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He began to exercise authority for the first time this weekend, calling on the army to allow in humanitarian aid to a nation wracked by economic crisis.

The embattled president on Sunday promised peace for Venezuela without specifically responding to Trump.

The funds will go to "trusted partners" and neighbouring countries, Trudeau said. The Kremlin on Monday described European backing for Guaido as foreign "meddling" and repeated its stance that domestic issues should be solved by Venezuela and its people.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said the election that brought Maduro to power was neither free nor fair and told Swedish broadcaster SVT on Monday that Venezuelans "now must get new, free and fair elections instead".

Alan Duncan, Britain's minister for the Americas and Europe, said Maduro's "mismanagement and kleptocratic approach" are singularly responsible for crippling his country's economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump said military intervention in Venezuela was "an option" as Western nations boost pressure on socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down, while the troubled OPEC nation's ally Russian Federation warned against "destructive meddling".

"He is the legitimate interim president for this task from Germany's point of view and from the point of view of several European countries".

The coordinated recognition by a flood of European Union nations including Britain, Germany, France and Spain followed the expiration of an ultimatum for Maduro to call a new presidential election, aligning them with Washington and against Russian Federation and China.

The contact group comprises the European Union and eight of its member states - France, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden - and four Latin American countries: Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay.