Guaido urges Europe to tighten sanctions on Maduro regime

Saul Bowman
March 8, 2019

A spokesman for the State Department said the us was aware of the missing journalist and issued a warning to President Nicolás Maduro's government. "Above all, they should tighten financial sanctions against the regime". Malave said the journalist was questioned at the military counterintelligence headquarters and later was driven straight to the airport to be flown out of Venezuela.

The National Assembly leader remains free despite the threat of arrest by the government.

Weddle, a Virginia native, has been living and working in Venezuela since 2014, according to WPLG.

More than 50 countries, including Germany, have recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

Pence told the Latino Coalition that the USA will revoke 77 visas held by officials in the Maduro government or their relatives, saying "the time has come to liberate Venezuela from Cuba".

The Maduro government ordered German envoy Daniel Kriener to leave the country on Wednesday after he and other diplomats welcomed Mr Guaido home at Caracas airport earlier this week. WPLG-TV said Weddle's assistant was also detained. European support for Guaido was "unwavering", he added.

Mr Guaido has denounced president Nicolas Maduro's re-election past year as a "sham", while the Socialist leader says he is the victim of a US-led "economic war".

Germany, the United States and more than 50 other countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader in the wake of an election past year riddled with irregularities in which Maduro claimed a second term. On Tuesday, Maduro belittled his opponents as "opportunists and cowards", but did not mention Guaido by name.

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has cut ties with Colombia after opposition leaders used the neighboring Andean nation as a launching point for humanitarian aid meant to undermine his authority.

"Usually I get back: 'I'm fine".

"They do this for one reason alone, to intimidate journalists from reporting on Juan Guaido and on conditions in Venezuela", Rubio said.

When he returned to Caracas - his latest challenge to Maduro's authority - Guaido announced to tens of thousands of supporters his plans for new protests. The Maduro government's decision not to move against Guaido upon his return to Venezuela on Monday reflects the intense pressure Maduro faces and, possibly, a calculation that restraint is the best tactic for now.

But Mr Maduro, a 55-year-old former bus driver and foreign minister, still has powerful backers at home and overseas, namely the Venezuelan armed forces and Russian Federation and China, which have both urged non-interference in the country's internal affairs.

The US is already trying to cripple Maduro's access to finances via sanctions on state oil company PDVSA and handing control to Guaido of Venezuelan bank accounts in the United States.

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