As Venezuela crisis deepens, U.S. sharpens focus on Colombia rebel threat

Leroy Wright
March 21, 2019

Colombia, the United States and about 50 other countries support Guaido's claim that he is the interim president of Venezuela and that Maduro is illegitimate because his re-election a year ago was marred by irregularities.

Maduro has alleged that Guaido is a collaborator in a USA plot to overthrow the government in Venezuela, where the population has endured hyperinflation and a unsafe shortage of medicine and other necessities that the opposition blamed on the administration's socialist policies.

Earlier, the US State Department announced that Abrams would meet with Ryabkov to "discuss the deteriorating situation in Venezuela".

"They were useful, they were substantive, they were serious".

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself interim president, speaks to the press after a meeting with coalition of opposition parties, and other civic groups in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, March 18, 2019.

Maduro says the country is victim of an "economic war" led by political adversaries with the help of the United States. "Who gets the title of president" was still a point of contention, Abrams said.

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A Venezuelan general who is under US sanction for incompetent management of a state medicine program has fled to Colombia amid growing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, posted a commentary on the social networking article Twitter, in which he said the story is not surprising.

The announcement comes days after Uganda said it was investigating its biggest gold refinery for importing Venezuelan gold.

Moscow supports Maduro while Washington has imposed oil sanctions on Venezuela in an attempt to push Maduro from power.

A supporter of President Nicolas Maduro holds a painting depicting the late president Hugo Chavez on the right corner, and President Nicolas Maduro. Analysts understood this statement as the latest sign that the United States is planning a military campaign aimed at overthrowing President Maduro.

Maduro is under intense pressure to step down amid a deep economic crisis in Venezuela and as the government faces widespread global condemnation after he was re-elected previous year in a vote that has been seen as fraudulent. "It's the Maduro regime which has prevented that", he said.

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