Embattled Venezuela president ‘ready to negotiate’ with opposition

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An active Venezuelan general called on the armed forces to rebel against President Nicolas Maduro and to recognize the opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim chief as pressure at home and overseas grows on the head of state to step down.

Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has been closely following and exposing the Maduro regime, shared the terrifying news that Maduro troops had arrived at Guaido's house in Caracas on Thursday to intimidate him and his family.

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.

Meanwhile, his powerful allies in Russian Federation and China will do all they can to ensure he is not ousted.

Trump's national security adviser John Bolton said in a tweet on Friday that the United States "will mobilize and transport humanitarian aid - medicine, surgical supplies, and nutritional supplements for the people of Venezuela".

"The United Nations is ready to increase its activities in Venezuela in the area of humanitarian assistance and development", Guterres wrote in response, according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

In Venezuela on Friday, Guaido said he has turned down offers from the presidents of Mexico and Uruguay to negotiate with embattled Nicolas Maduro.

In the interview with RIA Novosti, Maduro also said he would support early parliamentary elections.

As Nicolas Maduro, the authoritarian ruler, tries to stave off mounting worldwide pressure to relinquish power, the fate of those gold bars has become a cause of great concern both in Venezuela and overseas.

Addressing security forces directly, he said: "I will hold you responsible for any intimidation of my baby, who is just 20 months old".

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"We have a plan, well thought out, structured", Guaido said at the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences in the Central University of Venezuela on Thursday, noting that "it is the sum of many sacrifices".

Maduro accuses Guaido of leading a US-backed coup, and says the United States, among other countries, are waging an economic war aimed at removing him from power.

Mireanna Fernandez, a 20-year-old student at a protest in the eastern city of Ciudad Guayana, said before Guaido's January 23 proclamation she wanted to leave Venezuela, but now she had hope that Maduro's government would end.

In comments to reporters, Guaido later thanked his neighbors who rushed to the apartment banging pots and pans to call attention to the police visit.

Hugo Chavez, the predecessor and mentor to Maduro, plowed much of the country's oil wealth into gold in part because of his disdain for the USA dollar.

"Chavez is the love of my life" she said, referring to the late Venezuelan president.

A swift end to the tumult appears unlikely as both Guaido and Maduro dig in for a protracted conflict with geopolitical dimensions.

The once stable South American country is stuck in a downward spiral of crippling inflation, widespread shortages and political discontent, with many Venezuelans placing blame for the crisis squarely at Maduro's feet.

"The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy - and freedom has the momentum".

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