Venezuela's Guaido vows to defy ban on aid

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The U.S., Canada and most Latin American countries have recognized Guaido, the National Assembly president, as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, but Maduro has so far refused calls to step down.

Venezuela's self-declared interim president Juan Guaido has declined offers from the presidents of Mexico and Uruguay to mediate talks with embattled President Nicolas Maduro as the country braces for massive protests on Saturday.

On Thursday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said security forces showed up at his family's Caracas apartment In an effort to intimidate him.

"Let me reiterate. There will be serious consequences for those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaido", Bolton said on Twitter.

He also called on the European Union to level "more sanctions" against Maduro's government.

Yanez is refusing to say whether he is still in Venezuela or has left the country.

The U.S. has emerged as Guaido's most powerful ally, announcing on Tuesday that it was giving him control of Venezuela's U.S. bank accounts.

Donald Trump has previously floated the possibility of using a "military option" in Venezuela and just this week the president's national security adviser John Bolton declared "all options are on the table".

On Thursday, Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who is helping spearhead the U.S.'s hard-line stance toward Maduro, fired off a tweet calling out the United Arab Emirates' Noor Capital as the financial firm orchestrating the gold transaction with Venezuelan authorities.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke to Juan Guaido, the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela.

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Maduro has described the protests as part of a USA -led coup attempt and called on his supporters to organize their own march on Saturday in defence of his Bolivarian Revolution.

"In the next few days, we will be asking for your help to go get this aid", Guaido said, asking the armed forces to allow a humanitarian corridor.

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. And the US 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. They were dressed in red, the colour of Venezuela's ruling socialist party.

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since January 10 when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycott by the opposition.

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

Most Latin American countries have done so as well, while European governments are also throwing their support behind Guaido, albeit more cautiously.

Russian Federation and Venezuela have a long history of ties and Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez, known for his tirades against the United States, was a welcome guest at the Kremlin.

"At this moment the dictatorship believes that it will intimidate us", Guaido said, his wife at his side.

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

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