Venezuela's President Calls for Early Parliamentary Elections

Caracas, Feb 2 (Prensa Latina) At a mass rally to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Bolivarian Revolution, President Nicolas Maduro has called to celebrate early Parliamentary elections as a way to curtail the US-backed coup and achieve peace and stability in Venezuela.

Maduro addressed a huge demonstration along Bolivar Avenue in downtown Caracas in his first open air speech since the failed assassination attempt last August on the same avenue.

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of the government came out to rally to defend democracy and the Maduro administration.

'If you want, we want,' the Head of State told the opposition while calling for national legislative elections, a task he assigned to the President of the Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello.

Maduro emphasized his Government is determine to restore the legislative power and the legal, normal functions of Parliament whose opposition members are in contempt since 2016.

'Until when will they hurt the nation? It's enough of so much damage done to the Homeland!' The President stressed, urging the opposition to think on the consequences of their actions and inviting them to abandon interventionism.

'Stop shouting for war; stop calling for a foreign military intervention; stop backing a coup d'Etat that has already failed. It failed and you don't realize it. Revolution is governing here, and We will keep governing,' insisted Maduro.

The US administration called last weekend for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to condemn the Venezuelan government as a preamble for deepening political meddling and a military intervention, but 19 members of that body, out of 20, rejected Washington's maneuvering and called to respect Venezuela.

Most of the UN 191 members have recognized the Maduro administration as legitimate and a democratically elected government.

On efforts to restore peace and political order in the nation, the Head of State thanked the initiatives presented by the governments of Mexico, Uruguay and Bolivia to set up a negotiating table among all sides in an effort to secure democracy in Venezuela.

With regards to military defense of the nation, Maduro appealed to deepening the civil-military unity, and called on all the forces to take part in the military drills on the Bicentennial of Angostura, slated for February 10 through 15. 'They will be the most important in the nation's history', he pointed out.

He called on militiamen to join the Boliviarian National Armed Forces as regular soldiers or the Bolivarian National Guard as active members.

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Maduro says next election will take place in 2025, rejects Europe's 8-day ultimatum

President Nicolas Maduro has rejected an ultimatum issued by Europe which called for new elections in Venezuela within 8 days, saying instead that the next presidential elections will be held in 2025.

Germany, France and Spain said that they would recognize the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela unless new elections are held – but Maduro has stressed that Europe has no right to make such demands, telling RIA Novosti that the next elections will take place in 2025.

In an earlier interview with CNN Turk, Maduro slammed the European demand as “complete insolence.”

“They should withdraw this ultimatum. No one can give us an ultimatum,” Maduro said. “Venezuela is not tied to Europe. This is complete insolence.”

Also on rt.com Maduro claims Trump ordered Colombian government and mafia to kill him...

In a statement, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the Venezuelan people “must be able to freely decide their future. Without elections announced in 8 days, we could recognize [Guaido] as ‘interim president’ of Venezuela to launch this political process.” Nearly identical messages were released by Germany and Spain.

Juan Guaido proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela last week, swiftly receiving strong support from Washington and its allies.

Guaido has been barred from leaving the country until an investigation into “serious crimes that threaten the constitutional order" is completed.

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"Trump Gave Order To Kill Me": Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Moscow: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Donald Trump of ordering neighbouring Colombia's government to kill him, but said he was open to the possibility of talks with the U.S. leader and his own domestic foes.

In an interview with Russia's RIA agency, Maduro rejected calls for an early election, said an order to arrest his rival Juan Guaido had not yet been given, and promised Caracas would honour debts to Russia and China.

Facing the biggest challenge of his six-year rule, the 56-year-old socialist leader also said his armed forces remained loyal and President Vladimir Putin was firmly behind him.

Maduro's comments were published on Wednesday as the fight for control of Venezuela escalated with the government preparing an investigation into self-declared interim president Guaido, and new street protests planned.

Venezuela plunged further into turmoil last week after the United States recognised Guaido, 35, as acting president, while Russia, which has lent Caracas an estimated $17 billion since 2006, continued to back Maduro.

"Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me," Maduro told RIA.

Though the Venezuelan was reprising an old allegation that critics scoff at as a smokescreen, there was speculation of military plans after Trump adviser John Bolton appeared on Monday with a pad showing the words "5,000 troops to Colombia."

"If something happens to me one day, Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will bear responsibility," Maduro said of his right-wing foes.

"I am legitimate" 

Despite their increasingly militant opposition to Maduro, whom they regard as a dictator, both Washington and Bogota have repeatedly denied accusations of plots to kill him.

Maduro, who survived what he called an assassination attempt in August last year, said he was well protected, guaranteeing him a long life. He declined to comment on reports Russia sent private military contractors to help guard him.

He also dismissed calls for a snap presidential vote, saying his re-election last year was fair despite widespread allegations of fraud and the barring of two opposition rivals.

"I won 68 percent of the vote," he told RIA. "I won legitimately... If the imperialists want a new election, let them wait until 2025."

Despite alleging Trump wanted him dead, Maduro said he was ready to meet him "wherever he wants", but thought the prospect unlikely given what he described as attempts by Trump's advisers to prevent it.

He said Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, Russia, the Vatican and several unnamed European countries wanted talks between him and the opposition.

"I am ready to sit at the negotiation table with the opposition for us to talk for the benefit of Venezuela," Maduro was quoted as saying.

Regarding the investigation and possible arrest of Guaido, he said: "As far as I know, this measure has not yet been taken. Let's wait for the internal constitutional and legal processes to see what the results will be. We won't rush, we'll wait."

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Maduro Reiterates Call for Dialogue with Venezuelan Opposition

Caracas, Jan 29 (Prensa Latina) The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, reiterated Tuesday the call for dialogue with the opposition as the only way of peaceful coexistence in Venezuela, immersed in a US-backed development coup.

Through a message posted on Twitter, the Venezuelan leader said that the opposition forces should 'ignore the imperial calls that point towards a confrontation between brothers.'

'May Peace prevail!' Said the head of state, who called on the opposition to act sensibly and responsibly, in the face of the US government's pretensions to provoke a civil conflict in Venezuela through ignorance of the legitimate authorities and the support for a parallel government that was not elected at the polls.

On January 23, the US administration of Donald Trump acknowledged the self-proclamation of the head of the National Assembly (Parliament) -declared in contempt by the Supreme Court of Justice-, Juan Guaido, a position emulated by other nations in the region.

This interventionist action led to the rupture of bilateral political relations by the government of Venezuela, which ordered the closure of all diplomatic and consular headquarters in the United States.

The hostile policy of Washington against Caracas included the attempted censorship in the Security Council of the United Nations, the repeated calls for a military uprising against the Bolivarian government, and the most recent attacks on the Venezuelan oil industry, with the freezing of assets of Citgo Petroleum.

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Venezuelan President Maduro: All of Europe Kneeling at Trump's Feet

In an interview with CNN Turk, President Maduro rejected the ultimatums presented by European countries to his government and did not rule out talks with Washington.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday rejected an international ultimatum to call elections within eight days and said opposition leader Juan Guaido had violated the country's constitution by declaring himself leader.

RELATED: UK Labour Lawmakers, High-profile Activists, Academics Defend Venezuela Against Intervention

"Europe has an insolent position, unsustainable, unpresentable. And it should withdraw its ultimatum. No one gives us ultimatums,” said President Maduro, in an interview with CNN Turk shot on Saturday and aired on Sunday, of European countries join the interventionist policy of the United States and its right-wing allies in Latin America.

“If they want to leave Venezuela, they should all go, and now. Venezuela will continue its path, fortunately we don't depend on Europe. And those arrogant, overbearing attitudes, looking down on us, because we are 'sudacas' (derogatory term for South Americans), inferior to them.“

He went on slam the leaders of Europe as “sycophants, kneeling behind the policies of Donald Trump. All of Europe is kneeling at the feet of (U.S. President) Donald Trump, it's as simple as that, and especially over Venezuela."

Commenting on the opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido who has declared himself, with no constitutional basis, an “interim president,” the Venezuelan president said, "I think he violated the constitution and all the laws” adding that Guaido’s actions will be referred to the judicial power.

“Now, I am not the organ of justice in the country. I am not the national attorney general. It will be up to the attorney general's office, the civilian power, the main court of justice, the judicial power, to decide the steps to safeguard the constitution. And we will wait. These are matters that will sort themselves out according to justice."

The United States and its right-wing allies recognized opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as the country's "interim president" after he spef-proclaimed himself as such on Jan. 23, an illegal and unconstitutional move and a rejection of the second term of the Nicolas Maduro in office which he won after last year's May elections.

Since then Guaido, the United States and right-wing governments in the region have been calling on the Venezuelan military to oust Maduro. However, the country's defense minister and top military brass have come out in support of Maduro and his government.

Maduro said he was open to dialogue and that meeting U.S. President Donald Trump was "improbable" but "not impossible."

 
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USA Announces 'Assistance' for Venezuela

The United States announced on Thursday, it would give 20 million dollars in ''humanitarian assistance'' to the Venezuelan population, while the South Amnerican government denounces Washington's attempts to promote violence and a coup d''état.

A day after the US president, Donald Trump, recognized as president 'in charge' of the South American nation to Juan Guaido, deputy of the National Assembly declared in contempt by the Supreme Court, ignoring the constitutional Government of Nicolás Maduro, the American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that sum.

The United States, which imposes economic sanctions on Venezuela, pressures the regional nations to join its campaign of hostility against Caracas and is denounced for its attempts to promote destabilization and subversion in that territory, refers to the money as destined to 'cope with the severe shortages of food and medicines'.

Without referring to any of the punishments applied by Washington unilaterally to hit the economy of the South American nation, a note from the State Department mentions the existence of a political and economic crisis of which it blames the Maduro Government.

The National Assembly of Venezuela has highlighted the need for immediate international humanitarian assistance. In response, the United States is ready to provide emergency assistance, adds the text on the Parliament declared without a valid board of directors by the Supreme Court of Justice.

As a continuation of the interventionist stance repeatedly condemned by Caracas, the State Department said to ask the Venezuelan authorities 'to immediately implement the economic and political reforms necessary to put an end to hyperinflation, shortages of supplies and corruption.'

This announcement also comes a day after Pompeo challenged the Venezuelan president's decision to break diplomatic relations with the United States as a result of Washington's interventionism.

Maduro denounced on Wednesday that the Donald Trump administration is conducting an operation to impose a coup d'état with a puppet government and gave 72 hours to the staff of the US embassy to leave their country.

In response, Pompeo issued a statement in which it states that the United States maintains diplomatic relations with Venezuela and will carry them out 'through the government of interim President Guaido.'

Since the beginning of this month, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry warned about the destabilizing actions of the United States to promote the ignorance of the legitimate and democratic institutions of the Latin American territory in an attempted coup d'état.

Declassified documents, testimonies of officials and journalistic investigations confirm the interest of the northern nation to regain control over the energy and mineral resources that belong exclusively to the people, the institution said in a statement.

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Brazil, Argentina leaders step up pressure on Venezuela's Maduro

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri said after their first meeting on Wednesday that they agreed on their opposition to Venezuela’s authoritarian government, with Macri calling Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a “dictator.”

“Our cooperation with Argentina on the Venezuelan question it the clearest example of a convergence of positions and shared values,” Bolsonaro said. Since taking office on Jan. 1, Bolsonaro has adopted a tougher stance on Venezuela and a closer alignment with the United States than previous Brazilian governments.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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Maduro calls Bolsonaro ‘modern-day Hitler’ after Brazil lends support to opposition leader

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has called right-wing Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro “a Hitler of the modern era.” Brazil openly backs the Venezuelan opposition and denounced Maduro’s inauguration last week as illegitimate.

The left-wing Venezuelan leader and Bolsonaro, who declared Brazil “liberated” from socialism, have not been on the best of terms, trading verbal blows and exchanging insults since Bolsonaro’s election in October.

Addressing members of his country’s Constituent Assembly on Monday, Maduro said that Brazil was “in the hands of a fascist.”

“Bolsonaro is a modern-day Hitler. He is. What he doesn't have is courage and his own decisions because he’s the puppet of a sect,” Maduro said. The Venezuelan leader was referring to evangelical Christians, a section of the electorate in which Bolsonaro, himself a Catholic, commands strong support.   

Also on rt.com Bolsonaro says Brazil may host US base, calls Trump 'most powerful man in the world'...

The Constituent Assembly, called by Maduro to solve a deepening political crisis and draft a new constitution, replaced the opposition-controlled National Assembly as the country’s supreme power in August 2017. Critics of the Maduro government, both in Latin America and the US, denounced the body’s election, mostly ignored by the opposition, as a power grab. Maduro’s re-election in May was branded “illegitimate” and “undemocratic” by the US as well and saw a relatively low turnout, amid opposition calls to boycott the “fraudulent” vote.

Last week, Maduro was sworn in for a second term before the Supreme Court and not the National Assembly, which spawned a new wave of condemnation and criticism from the West and a dozen Latin American nations, including Brazil, which has been cozying up to the US lately.

Maduro, however, received support from Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua, whose leaders attended the inauguration ceremony, snubbed by the majority of its neighbors.

The National Assembly’s President, Juan Guaidó, declared a state of emergency, calling the parliament Venezuela’s “only real and legitimate power” while urging the army and foreign allies to help reclaim it.

In a statement on Friday, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said that it “welcomes” Guaidó's intention to assume presidential powers, slamming Maduro's new term as “illegitimate.”

Maduro and Bolsonaro have not minced words when calling each other names. While Bolsonaro refers to his Venezuelan counterpart as nothing less than “dictator,” Maduro dubbed the right-wing “tropical Trump” a “fascist” when he was being vested with presidential authority before the Supreme Court.

The new Brazilian government has made it clear that it would like to see Maduro ousted. In December, Brazil's now foreign minister Ernesto Araújo tweeted that “all of the world’s countries must stop supporting him and come together to liberate Venezuela.”

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro, who has elicited praise from US officials and exchanged courtesies with US President Donald Trump on Twitter, recently announced that he is open to the idea of hosting a US military base in Brazil, while also expressing concerns over joint military exercises between Venezuela and Russia.

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