Venezuela Is Stuck In A Tug-Of-War Between Two Presidents (HBO)

With Venezuela convulsed by crisis, Trump's hawks take dramatic turn

Britain said Nicolas Maduro was "not the legitimate leader of Venezuela" and that London would support the presidential claim made by opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Guaido, who is now the President of the National Assembly, swore an oath and declared himself interim president on Wednesday as thousands took to the streets calling for Maduro to leave office.

The US response, which to some harkened back to dark episodes of heavy-handed US interventions in Latin America during the Cold War, saw Maduro respond by swiftly cutting off diplomatic relations with the US, giving American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.

Washington's decision to throw its weight behind Guaido, a virtual unknown in Venezuelan politics until recently, came only after it became convinced that the 35-year-old with a USA education was a democratic-minded leader they could trust and work with, US officials said.

Diplomats at the Organization of American States held an emergency meeting Thursday on the Venezuelan crisis, during which 16 nations recognized Guaido as interim president.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly of Venezuela, controlled by the opposition, installed legislator Juan Guaido as the country's interim president, deposing Maduro for being reelected in last May's elections under what they considered a fraudulent process.

"We consider the attempt to usurp sovereign authority in Venezuela to contradict and violate the basis and principles of worldwide law", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law", the United States president added. He escalated his campaign Wednesday by declaring the constitution gives him, as president of the congress, the authority to take over as interim president and form a transitional government until he calls new elections. "We wish to make clear that our primary concern remains for the well-being of the people of Venezuela, the maintenance of democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law", the press release read.

"They say they don't recognize Nicolas. OK".

Venezuela foils uprising by National Guardsmen; massive protest march announced for Wednesday
According to the news outlet Vivoplay, at least 40 servicemen were brought to court in the Venezuelan capital. The National Assembly also encouraged foreign governments to increase pressure on Maduro's regime.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to condemn his hard-left ally Maduro and instead tore into interference in the country.

However, he still has no control over the Venezuelan state and the military, which appears to still be loyal to Maduro despite a deep economic and political crisis.

"The Government is resorting to its old tricks, but the people no longer believe them", he said. Some U.S. diplomats began exiting Venezuela on Friday.

EU Council President Donald Tusk earlier tweeted that he "hopes that all of Europe will unite in support of democratic forces in Venezuela".

Iran, Syria, Cuba and Turkey have also said they continue to support Maduro's government.

However, if this changes, then the President could be removed by force.

"Literally in every interaction that he has had with Latin American leaders since taking office, he brings up Venezuela".

'Even when they have risen up against Maduro, Mr Corbyn still defends his crony on the basis he is a good socialist.

Yevgeny Shabayev, leader of a local chapter of a paramilitary group of Cossacks with ties to Russian military contractors, said he had heard the number of Russian contractors in Venezuela may be about 400.

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