Venezuela plunges further into crisis amid a growing row over Nicolas Maduro’s presidency.

Venezuela has plunged further into political crisis amid a growing row over President Nicolas Maduro’s future as the country’s leader.

Maduro started a second term on January 10 following a widely-boycotted election last year that many foreign governments refused to recognise.

On Wednesday, Juan Guaido, the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself interim president.

Shortly after Guaido took an oath swearing himself in before his supporters, US President Donald Trump publicly recognised him as the country’s leader. In response, Maduro broke off diplomatic ties with the United States and gave US diplomats 72 hours to get out of his country.

Maduro accused Guaido of staging a coup and ordered his arrest.

Mexico offers to mediate

Mexico is willing to mediate between the Venezuelan government and the opposition to seek a solution to the country’s political crisis, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.

Mexico would undertake the task on condition that both sides ask for it, Lopez Obrador said at a press conference.

Analyst: US is seeking to control ‘Venezuela’s oil’

“According to international law, and according to the Venezuelan constitution …. the people who are legitimately able to name a president in Venezuela is the citizens in Venezuela, the imposition of any other person who has not been elected by the Venezuelan people is against international law … ,” Peter Dobson, a Venezuelan political analyst told Al Jazeera.

“I think [that if] we call this anything other than a  coup d’etat or an attempted  coup d’etat, we will be mistaken.

“[The white house is attempting to oust President Maduro for] the same reason there were some intents on ousting president Chavez in 2002 or Maduro in 2014.

“One simple word oil, the control of the oil resources in Venezuela, as well as the diamonds, the gold, the water, the gas and a whole range of natural resources, is massively important for the United States, and [their] geostrategic interests across the world,” he added.

Spain pushes for election deadline

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell says that Spain is pushing for the European Union to back Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido if President Nicolas Maduro does not call elections by a deadline yet to be set.

The deadline is being discussed Friday by officials of the 28 countries in Brussels and Borrell says it should be “short and minimal,” without further specifying.

“We are trying to look for a solution that avoids confrontation and more deaths,” Borrell told reporters during a weekly government briefing.

US diplomats leave Caracas embassy

A US official says that some American diplomats and their families have headed in a caravan to the Venezuelan capital’s airport amid diplomatic standoff with President Nicolas Maduro.

A letter written by a US Embassy security officer requesting a Venezuelan police escort for 10 vehicles was leaked earlier Friday on social media.

Maduro on Wednesday gave the US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.

Germany: ‘Venezuela needs a chance to return to democracy’

Germany says it favours recognising Venezuela’s opposition leader as the country’s interim president unless there are free and fair elections soon.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday that “Venezuela needs a chance to return to democracy” and Germany does not consider President Nicolas Maduro to be legitimate.

Seibert said Germany is eager for the European Union to reach a common line on Venezuela at a meeting of diplomats in Brussels on Friday.

UN calls for Venezuela probes

The UN human rights chief has called for independent investigations into violence linked to protests in Venezuela, allegedly involving excessive use of force by security or pro-government forces that reportedly left at least 20 people dead.

Michelle Bachelet‘s office in Geneva said that she “urged all sides to conduct immediate talks to defuse the increasingly incendiary atmosphere.”

She said an independent, impartial probe was needed for any violence leading to death or injury, whether caused by excessive force by security forces or armed groups – pro-government or not.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said Friday “at least 20 people are reported by credible local sources to have died after allegedly being shot by security forces or members of pro-government armed groups during demonstrations Tuesday and Wednesday.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *