Some US diplomats leaving Venezuela amid political crisis

Some US diplomats leaving Venezuela amid political crisis

U.S. diplomats Thursday were restricted to three affluent areas of Caracas and the State Department ordered non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy to leave the country, a sign of the stark security concerns around them as they contend with the order of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to depart by Sunday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan phoned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to offer support, and said he was shocked that Washington had backed the opposition leader's move to declare himself interim leader.

Canada's decision to recognize the opposition leader of a country as its president is highly unusual, Latin American experts said.

Venezuela's top military brass pledged their unwavering support for embattled President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday, delivering vows of loyalty before rows of green-uniformed officers on state television.

Tweeting from the Swiss ski resort of Davos, where he and other leaders were attending the World Economic Forum, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said: "Brazil recognises Mr. Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president". He is considering making a request for funds from global institutions including the worldwide Monetary Fund, two sources said on Friday. Two of Venitez's female relatives recently fled Venezuela and travelled "for days" to Peru by bus and on foot, she said.

Maduro responded by saying he was cutting off diplomatic ties with Washington, as his riot police clashed with opposition supporters in Caracas.

But the distances involved have made the conventional wisdom here that Russian Federation is unlikely to provide direct military support to Maduro's government to avert a United States military intervention.

Maduro was elected a year ago in a vote widely seen as fraudulent. Moscow has warned the United States against the military actions in the country and noted that Washington was interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "We have no such information".

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Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the country's defense minister who controls Venezuela's powerful military, said Thursday that Maduro was the "legitimate president".

"[Simón ] Bolívar used to curse against soldiers who give their back to the people", he said in reference to Venezuela's independence hero.

"This is as dramatic a situation as any that I can think of", said Max Cameron, a professor of political science with a focus on Latin American affairs at the University of British Columbia. While yesterday's protest drew tens of thousands to the streets and over a dozen nations in the region are pledging support, the military's backing is key.

In an address Thursday, Maduro recalled the long history of heavy-handed US interventions in Latin America during the Cold War as he asked his allies for support.

In a video addressing the military earlier this week, Guiado said the constitution requires them to disavow Maduro after his May 2018 re-election, which was widely condemned by the worldwide community because his main opponents were banned from running.

Translation: The US is conducting a coup against Venezuelan President Maduro who picked our flag off the ground, but the European Union is silent, the United Nations is silent.

Trump has found rare support from the rival Democratic Party over Venezuela, with leading lawmakers agreeing on the need to take action after years of economic and political deterioration in the country.

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