Venezuela seeks Trump talks, but US quickly says no

Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro

"They are trying to fabricate a crisis to justify political escalation and a military intervention in Venezuela to bring a war to South America".

The US has ramped up the pressure on the Maduro regime with sanctions against top officials, and the promise to exempt those who recognise Guaido as their true leader.

After the meeting on 2 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Thursday, Guaido will hold a news conference, the envoy said. The Kremlin has continued to support President Nicolas Maduro, while the U.S.is pushing for him to step aside.

Reportedly, the protesters hoped they could maintain pressure on Maduro after self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidówas widely recognized as legitimate at the end of January on the global stage. He wrote, "The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid".

Over the weekend, violent protests broke out in towns along Venezuela's border with Colombia and Brazil.

Roraima state said on Wednesday a Venezuelan man who had suffered a gunshot wound died of multiple organ failure.

Maduro denies there is a humanitarian crisis despite overseeing a hyperinflationary economic meltdown that has spawned widespread food and medicine shortages and prompted the exodus of around 10 percent of the population.

Pence said the United States was also sending another $56 million (U.S.) to Venezuela's neighbours to help with the flood of migrants fleeing into their countries.

Tuesday's emergency Security Council session on Venezuela, requested by Washington, featured a sharp exchange between a USA senior official and the Venezuelan foreign minister.

Russian Federation and China, which have had close relations with Maduro over the years, have repeatedly warned against any foreign interference in Venezuela, while Washington has backed the opposition leader.

Venezuela's foreign minister Jorge Arreaza on Wednesday called for direct talks between President Nicolas Maduro and his USA counterpart Donald Trump, to help ease the crisis gripping his country.

"Action and solidarity should be based on full rejection of dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela", Barbosa told the meeting.

Arreaza said in an address at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence ruled out the idea of talks.

"The only thing to discuss with Maduro at this point is the time and date for his departure".

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