Venezuela's Maduro Rejects 'Imperialist' Demands for New Election: 'Wait Until 2025'

31 January, 2019, 02:31 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • US gives Juan Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets

On Monday, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the new measures against the country's state-owned oil company, PDVSA.

Venezuela's chief prosecutor on Tuesday asked the country's top court to ban opposition leader Juan Guaido from leaving the country, launching a criminal probe into his anti-government activities while worldwide pressure builds against President Nicolas Maduro.

On Monday, the USA imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, that could potentially deprive the Maduro government of $11 billion US in export revenues over the next year.

"Presidential elections in Venezuela have taken place, and if imperialists want new elections let them wait until 2025", Maduro told RIA.

More than 40 people are believed to have been killed in political violence last week, including 26 shot by pro-Government forces, five killed in house raids and 11 during looting, United Nations human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said.

Large protests are planned across Venezuela on Wednesday to increase pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to step down.

The poll was boycotted by the opposition in protest at the detention, barring and exile of many of their most prominent leaders. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said the certification "will help Venezuela's legitimate government safeguard those assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people".

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Russian Federation vowed to "do everything" to protect Maduro against U.S. efforts to oust him as the Trump administration issued new sanctions against Venezuela on Monday, without elaborating what steps it would take.

Locals call the lack of food, "The Maduro diet", after Maduro, who since 2013 has led Venezuela's increasingly authoritarian government and driven the country into humanitarian crisis. That has left the staff there with "limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Venezuela", according to the new travel advisory released Tuesday.

While the US has recognized president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as "Interim President" of the country, Maduro said that while he believes new parliamentary elections should be held the next presidential election would not be until 2025, as scheduled. The message - deliberately exposed or not - pinballed around Washington and provoked speculation about pre-positioning American forces inside Colombia for a rapid deployment in neighboring Venezuela, if called upon. U.S. Major General Mark Stammer, the commander of U.S. Army South, was in Colombia on Wednesday, U.S. embassy officials said. The opposition argues Maduro's re-election last May was a sham.

Maduro called the sanctions "criminal" and vowed to challenge the court.

It said more than 40 people are believed to have been killed.

The U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory for Venezuela to level 4 and warned that Americans have been arbitrarily detained "for long periods" in the politically unstable nation.

Maduro, seeing the Trump Administration publicly move against him, took to Twitter on Wednesday to directly appeal to the American people: "I ask for your support in order to reject the interference of Donald Trump's administration which intends to turn my Homeland into a "Vietnam war" in Latin America".



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