Venezuelan general recognizes opposition leader Guaido as president

Guaido, the National Assembly president, has led opposition to Maduro since he was elected to his post in December.

In the video, General Francisco Yanez, a member of the air force's high command, called on other members of the military to defect.

He told officials: "Do not cross the red line".

Guterres said he did not have the authority to recognize governments but added that he "respects the decisions taken by the General Assembly and the Security Council", which are divided on who leads Venezuela.

"We've been working years to try and open up that humanitarian aid that we need for Venezuela", he said. On Thursday, hundreds of workers from the state-owned oil company PDVSA marched in Caracas in support of President Nicolás Maduro. The two countries are Venezuela's top foreign creditors and have refused to recognize Guaidó's claim to be president.

In a letter to the presidents of Mexico and Uruguay published last Friday, Mr Guaido ruled out any negotiations with Mr Maduro unless they "start the transition process, culminating in the holding of free elections". The person didn't know where the gold was supposed to go or the exact nature of the planned transaction, but the fate of the bars had become a cause of great concern both in Venezuela and overseas.

But in a Friday tweet, Corbyn said: "The future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans". Maduro was supported by Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey.

Maduro's adversaries say he has run roughshod over democratic institutions, including the opposition-run congress, and destroyed the once-buoyant economy through a corruption-riddled exchange control system and arbitrary nationalizations. And the USA officials who are leading the push to have Maduro cede power to a transitional government contend that the attempted transactions form part of his authoritarian regime's bid to ransack the country in its final days in power.

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The EU legislature also approved a resolution that condemned the continued violence and the detention of journalists who sought to cover events there.

In a brief phone conversation with The Associated Press, the officer confirmed, from a Colombian number, the veracity of his declaration and said he would not give further statements until given authorization by "the commander-in-chief of the legal armed force which is President Juan Guaido".

The embattled Nicolas Maduro regime halted plans to ship 20 tons of Venezuelan gold overseas as a growing global push to ring-fence the country's dwindling hard assets unnerved those handling the transaction, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The United States should pay in advance for any oil it buys as a result of the US sanctions on the Citgo refinery, a subsidiary of Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA, Venezuela's oil minister said Thursday. Mr Guaido said that there is vast suffering, food shortages and that several people had recently died due to the lack of electricity in hospitals. Democracies around the world have since recognized his presidency, including the United States and Latin American neighbors like Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina.

On a similar note, recently, economists stated that Venezuelan government can topple on its own without the new USA sanction.

"The use of sanctions by outside powers to overthrow an elected government is in violation of all norms of worldwide law", he said in a statement in Geneva.

At a pro-Maduro rally, supporters blamed the opposition for undermining the Bolivarian Revolution with years of protests and seeking financial sanctions against the Venezuelan government.

Guaido later appeared at his building with his wife and daughter, saying "they will not intimidate this family".

  • Sonia Alvarado