Florida Republicans call on Trump to support Venezuelan opposition

Florida Republicans call on Trump to support Venezuelan opposition

Dozens of leaders in the worldwide community have joined the chorus calling Maduro's presidency illegitimate.

Vice President Mike Pence sent a videotaped message to Venezuelans calling Maduro a dictator who maintains power by jailing dissident voices.

Miguel Pizarro, deputy to the National Assembly for the city of Petare, said the march Wednesday will be the day citizens will show their power and millions of Venezuelans will tell the global community that the fight will not end.

Demonstrators stand behind a burning barricade during a protest close to a National Guard outpost in Caracas, Venezuela January 21, 2019.

In addition, the Trump administration is weighing tougher financial sanctions on Venezuela, while a dozen, mostly conservative Latin American and Caribbean governments said they will block officials from Maduro's government from entering their countries and take steps to freeze assets that are the by-product of corruption.

"Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power", Pence said in a video message.

But Juan Guaido, president of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, said: "Our soldiers know that that the command chain has been broken by the usurpation of the presidency".

The attackers were captured a few hours later in the Caracas neighborhood Cotiza, an impoverished neighborhood 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the Miraflores presidential palace.

Maduro, a socialist, was sworn in to a second six year term January 10 amid criticism from his domestic opponents and global bodies such as the European Union, Organization of American States and the United States.

Wednesday's planned marches come weeks after Maduro began his second term in power as the country faces a deep economic crisis and dozens of countries dispute the legitimacy of his presidency.

Lawmakers in Russian Federation, which has invested heavily in Venezuela's oil industry, provided support to its military, and become a lender of last resort as the economy implodes, denounced the declarations. Adding to pressure on Maduro, multiple sources said the Trump administration could impose new United States sanctions on Venezuela's vital oil sector as soon as this week if the political situation there deteriorates further.

The government said the officers took two vehicles from a police station in the western Macarao district before driving across the city to a barracks in the eastern Petare slum, where they stole an arms cache and kidnapped four officials.

"Do you want to be a country colonized by the gringos?" he asked the crowd of several hundred seated before him.

The vice president also said the USA would only recognize the authority of congress, which is controlled by the current opposition party.

Mass anti-government demonstrations are expected across Venezuela today, two days after authorities foiled a small-scale armed uprising.

On Monday, the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled the National Assembly is illegitimate, and that no law discussed in the legislative body holds any legal value.

The increasingly authoritarian Nicolas Maduro-led government, continuing the policies of Hugo Chavez, denies the existence of a humanitarian catastrophe, instead pointing fingers at everything from Venezuela's positioning to the sun, to opposition movements and the United States for infringing on their economic rights.

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