Venezuela's opposition had clandestine meetings with military -Guaido

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The White House said President Donald Trump spoke to Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido, by phone on Wednesday, reiterating support for his "fight to regain democracy".

"Don't shoot people who are making demands also for your family", Guaido said in a message to the military delivered from the central university in Caracas.

The United States, Australia and several other countries have recognised Mr Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate head of state and denounced Mr Maduro as a usurper.

However, given the failure of previous rounds of dialogue, including one led by the Vatican, opponents are suspicious, believing Maduro uses them to quell protests and buy time.

United States military invention is seen in Washington as highly unlikely, but President Donald Trump has repeatedly said "all options are on the table".

Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country since its turn to socialism under former President Hugo Chavez. According to the United Nations, at least 40 people have already been killed in clashes since the power struggle erupted last week.

"A group of military deserters that became mercenaries for Colombian oligarchy are conspiring from Columbia to sow discord among [Venezuelan] armed forces", Maduro told servicemen before military drills on Wednesday.

Workers wait for customers at their vegetable stand at a wholesale food market in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 28, 2019.

He told reporters in Geneva that officials were investigating reports of ill-treatment of detainees.

"Do you want to be a coward?" The "soles" in the cartel's title refer to the badges on Venezuelan soldiers' uniforms. Moreover, Venezuela having rich oil, gas and gold reserves is a great reason for the promote a coup in the country.

Maduro does not provide any evidence that the USA government has control of the oil industries in either of those countries.

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Rosillo said he has some hope for the country given Guaido's push to form a transitional government.

Guaido responded stubbornly, saying "We are here, we will keep acting and working to confront the humanitarian crisis", the Guardian reported.

Opposition leaders have called for anti-government demonstrations this week.

President Nicolas Maduro said that he was open to talks with the United States of America. "If the imperialists want a new election, let them wait until 2025".

Meanwhile, Abrams said, the United States and other countries opposed to Maduro are scouring the world looking for assets that can be seized under USA sanctions announced this week.

Although in opposition hands since 2015, the National Assembly has been sidelined since 2016 as the Supreme Court - dominated by regime loyalists - annuls its every decision. President Nicolas Maduro said on national television. The opposition argues Maduro's re-election last May was a sham.

But for now, the military high command remains loyal to Maduro.

The Pentagon has refused to rule out military action, although is it not considered likely by most experts.

But France said Maduro has not responded to an European Union demand for elections.

Uruguay and Mexico on Wednesday announced a joint plan to hold an global conference on Venezuela's political crisis, expecting to gather representatives from at least 10 countries and organizations.

They said they expected around 10 states to attend, but did not name them.

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