Venezuela oil czar courts India after $20 billion hit from US

Associated Press

Venezuela's self-proclaimed acting president Guaido on Friday refused to rule out the possibility of authorising United States intervention to help force President Nicolas Maduro from power and alleviate a humanitarian crisis.

Last Friday, a group of countries led by the US met in the United Nations headquarters in NY to discuss a separate draft resolution regarding the Venezuelan crisis which TASS quoted as expressing "full support" for the Venezuelan National Assembly led by self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido as the country's "only democratically elected institution".

Maduro has said the USA help is part of a plot to overthrow his government and said Venezuela doesn't need it.

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Guaido's envoy to Brazil, Maria Teresa Belandria, said she had received assurances from Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo over the new aid centre.

Armed military forces have continued to guard a blocked bridge between Venezuela and Colombia, cutting humanitarian aid off from the country.

Maduro said he will make "the sufficient investment for Venezuela" to strengthen its anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system, and equip the militia with "even the most modern missiles in the world". Out with his threats. Russian Federation called out global intervention in the affairs of Venezuela and the threat of foreign military action.

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The military exercises will last until February 15 and are set to become the most major and important drills that Caracas has held over its 200 year-old history, according to Maduro.

Maduro is refusing to step down or call for a new election, accusing the US of orchestrating a coup attempt.

Tensions rose when opposition leader Guaido declared himself acting president on January 23, a move which was supported by the US and many European and Latin American countries.

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Under Maduro's stewardship, oil-rich Venezuela's economy has collapsed leaving the country wracked by hyperinflation, recession and shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine.

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