Trump administration accepts Guaido ally as Venezuela envoy in U.S.

US warns against trade with Venezuelan government

Maduro's support from the military has been a crucial part of him staying in power since 2013.

"We have continued to expose the corruption of (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro and his cronies and today's action ensures they can no longer loot the assets of the Venezuelan people", Bolton said Monday.

On Sunday, Israel and Australia joined the countries backing the 35-year-old leader, and US President Donald Trump's administration said it had accepted Venezuelan opposition figure Carlos Alfredo Vecchio as the country's diplomatic representative in the United States.

Although he professed himself "open to dialogue", he acknowledged it was unlikely.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told members of the U.N. Security Council Saturday to "pick a side" in Venezuela.

Maduro has responded that Washington attempted to stage a coup d'etat in Venezuela and announced his decision to cut off diplomatic ties with the United States.

At the United Nations on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the worldwide community to put a stop to Venezuela's "nightmare" and start supporting Guaido.

Maduro called Pompeo "a warlord" who speaks with "a lot of despair and hate" in an interview with CNN-Turk on Saturday after the US secretary spoke.

The Venezuelan leader told the Turkish network he has sent many messages to President Trump but has not received a response because "I think he's overwhelmed with his domestic problem and, I believe, I think he despises us".

"What I'm calling for is for the constitution to be followed".

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The collapse of world energy prices, corruption, and failed socialist policies have created an economic and humanitarian crisis in oil-rich Venezuela.

He underlined that Guaido's declaring himself acting president was "unlawful".

Venezuela has sunk into turmoil under Mr Maduro, with food shortages and protests amid an economic and political crisis that has led millions to leave the country and with inflation seen rising to 10 million per cent this year.

Colonel Jose Luis Silva Silva, Venezuela's top military diplomat in the USA, said in a video widely circulated on social media Saturday that he supports Guaido.

At a Caracas rally the Guaido said he would announce a date for "a grand march", and called on supporters to circulate copies of amnesty measures approved by the National Assembly to friends and relatives in the military.

He accused Russian Federation and China of "propping up a failed regime in the hopes of recovering billions of dollars in ill-considered investments and assistance made over the years". Since the government of Mr Maduro's late mentor Hugo Chavez, the Opec (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) nation has invested heavily in Russian weaponry, including Sukhoi fighter jets and heavy armour.

The Venezuelan leader earlier gave United States diplomats until late Saturday to leave the country. He said he also wanted his own diplomats "to defend Venezuelan interests in the U.S." comparing the arrangement to that of the US and Cuba, which had no diplomatic relations but maintained ties through lower-level officials in each country.

"We have no plans to close the embassy", a State Department official said Sunday.

Venezuela is very reliant on the USA for its oil revenue.

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