Washington ups pressure on Venezuela as Guaido tours South America

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido takes a selfie with his wife Fabiana Rosales and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Colombian President Ivan Duque, and Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez at the

The Trump administration and dozens of other countries have recognized opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

Abrams said he was in talks with Russian Federation on Venezuela.

The envoy - best known for using aid shipments to ferry arms to right-wing Nicaraguan rebels in the 1980s, and for defending despotic regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala - called a counter-resolution by Russian Federation urging a political solution "pathetic".

Abrams said the restrictions announced Friday were being leveled against officials who "are not welcome in the United States and neither are their family members who enjoy a privileged lifestyle at the expense of the liberty and prosperity of millions of Venezuelans".

The sanctions block any assets they have in USA jurisdictions and bar Americans from conducting financial transactions with them.

The U.N. Security Council rejected rival resolutions on Venezuela by the United States and Russia Thursday, with Russia and China vetoing the USA call for new elections and Moscow's proposal failing to win sufficient support.

"This action ... targets six security officials who control numerous groups that prevented humanitarian aid from entering Venezuela, thereby exacerbating the humanitarian crisis that has left millions of Venezuelans starving and without access to medical care under the Maduro regime", Treasury said in a statement.

The six include Major General Richard Jesus Lopez Vargas, the commander of the Venezuelan National Guard.

Russian official accuses U.S. of preparing military intervention in Venezuela
In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has called Bolsonaro "a modern-day Hitler" and has accused him of plotting a military intervention in Venezuela.

Guaido has said that 300,000 people could die without an influx of aid into Venezuela.

The United States "will continue to target Maduro loyalists prolonging the suffering of the victims of this man-made humanitarian crisis".

"The Venezuelan affairs should be decided by the Venezuelan people", China's Deputy UN Ambassador Wu Haitao said. Guaido, he said "has become much more of an global figure in the last week", meeting with various Latin American leaders and with US Vice President Mike Pence.

He alleged that the United States was planning to buy small arms, mortar launchers, and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from an "Eastern European country" and station them "close to Venezuela". Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershining and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza have confirmed at their meeting in Geneva the unacceptability of any attempts to interfere into Venezuela's internal affairs, and said that United States actions toward Venezuela constitute a violation of worldwide law.

On Tuesday, Guaido met in Colombia with regional diplomats and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has arrived in Brasília for talks with Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

He has promised to return to Venezuela by Monday, seen as a form of direct defiance to Maduro, who has said Guaido will eventually "face justice".



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