World Media

Maduro Sends 100 Tons of Aid to Cuba Despite Venezuela Crisis

Wilmer Guiado the taxi driving father of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guiado

But an attempt to muscle up the bloc's common position was vetoed by Italy, four diplomatic sources told AFP, with the coalition government in Rome divided over how to handle the Venezuela crisis.

The United States has sought to squeeze Maduro both economically and diplomatically, imposing sanctions that target his inner circle and ruling that Venezuelan assets in the USA banking system belong to the National Assembly, which Guaido's opposition forces control.

"We discussed mutual support for Venezuela's Interim President Guaido, including logistics for providing humanitarian assistance for the Venezuelan people", Bolton tweeted.

- Britain, Germany, France and Spain and more than a dozen other members of the European Union recognized Guaido in a coordinated action on February 4 following the expiration of an ultimatum they gave for Maduro to call a new presidential election.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said, "we know who is taking the decisions", indicating that Venezuelan efforts are directed to "stop imperialism from setting foot in Venezuela".

Eurasia Group analysts say the humanitarian crisis "represents a lose-lose gambit for Maduro" who will either have to allow the goods to enter the country, further bolstering Guaido, or force the military to block their entry, risking a backlash in the streets.

In a statement, it accused them of submitting to a US "strategy to overthrow the legitimate government" and singled out Spain, which had previously led mediation efforts, for acting "cowardly".

"Soldiers, we continue to wait for you".

Maduro blames Washington and other Western nations for sabotaging Venezuela's economy, including through sanctions. Critics have called that election a sham and the mainstream opposition boycotted it.

While the U.S. never ruled out a military option to support Juan Guaidó's claim to power, so far Washington has called for a peaceful transition of power in the Latin American country.

The European support comes after Maduro did not meet their Sunday night deadline to call a new presidential election.

Last month, the Lima Group announced a travel ban on senior Venezuelan officials and a freeze on their foreign assets.

At the Group's meeting Monday in Ottawa, Canada, which is a member, pledged $53 million in humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

Speaking to RT - the state-owned broadcaster of Maduro's ally, Russia - Venezuela's President warned the country would defend its "sacred land" against any invasion.

Maduro's critics have said incompetent policies and corruption have impoverished the once-wealthy nation, leaving it with widespread shortages of food and medicine and hyperinflation forecast to reach 10 million percent in 2019. Uruguay's central bank and the office of the country's president did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Two female protesters brandishing a banner and chanting "hands off Venezuela" breached security at the Global Affairs Canada building where Freeland and visiting representatives held a joint press conference to close the day.