United States lifts sanctions on ex-Venezuelan general

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Russia, China and a number of other countries have voiced their support for constitutionally elected Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

The United States recognizes Guaido as interim president.

He has said he does not recognise decisions emanating from the Maduro government, including the Constituent Assembly, which is controlled by the ruling Socialist Party.

The Public Prosecutor's Office has so far issued 18 arrest warrants and some are against military officials, the prosecutor general said. The coup attempt resulted in violent rallies on 30 April and 1 May.

Figuera was head of the SEBIN intelligence agency.

"We hope the action that our nation is taking today will encourage others to follow the example of General Cristopher Figuera and members of the military who have also stepped forward", Mr Pence said in a speech at the U.S. state department.

Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that the USA won't have to send troops to Venezuela if Cuba ceases its support for the country's disputed president.

Pence and other Trump administration officials have warned that another 2 million people are expected to flee by the end of the year if the crisis continues in the once-prosperous nation.

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The matter was referred to an assembly committee.

"There have been discussions... with civil and military officials who are ready to take the side of our constitution", he added.

Military police prevented journalists from entering the National Assembly, and some reporters were harassed by government supporters outside the building. For months, food and medicine prices have soared in Venezuela as it experiences some of the worst hyperinflation ever.

"My mother doesn't have medicine, my economic situation is bad, my family has had to emigrate".

"What we know from the study of democratization is that there are extremely few transitions that happen without negotiation", Harold Trinkunas, deputy director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, told an editorial writer.

"The rising desperation in Venezuela has fueled a mass exodus, the likes of which we have never seen in the Western Hemisphere", Pence said in a speech on the Venezuelan crisis to at the Council of the Americas annual conference.

The worldwide Contact Group on Venezuela, which met in Costa Rica on Tuesday, announced it would send a high-level mission to the crisis-racked country to monitor humanitarian aid distribution and encourage talks.

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