Venezuela opposition rally to keep up pressure on Maduro

Venezuela's self-declared interim leader Juan Guaido speaks to supporters in Caracas

Gen. Yanez also calls on members of the armed forces not to protect Mr Maduro, saying that if they are afraid of backing Mr Guaido openly due to internal threats, they should "stay at home".

Guaido argues that Maduro was re-elected in a sham election a year ago, and is invoking two articles of Venezuela's constitution that he says allow him as the leader of the national assembly to assume the presidency and call elections when the current president is holding power illegitimately.

He told officials: "Do not cross the red line".

"Once more they are playing the intimidation game", Guaido said.

"For the foreseeable future, we feel like we can maintain a good stable operation and a safe operation on the ground in Venezuela", Chevron CEO Michael Wirth said Friday in a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

The self-declared president, who has no control over state institutions or any functions of day-to-day governance, said the opposition would not let up on protests until Maduro stepped down and allowed free elections. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in several states of Venezuela to support opposition leader Juan Guaido, local media reported on Saturday. The statement reported, "The U.S. does not recognize ex-president Nicolas Maduro to possess the legal expert to end diplomatic relations with the U.S. or to announce our diplomat's persona non grata". They had, though, been weighed and separated for shipment, the person said.

"Chavez is the love of my life" she said, referring to the late Venezuelan president. Maduro was supported by Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey.

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"We are going to send a very clear message in all the municipalities of Venezuela and in each city of the world, we are going to give a demonstration of strength, in a pacific and organized manner", Guaido tweeted on Saturday. And the USA officials who are leading the push to have Maduro cede power to a transitional government contend that the attempted transactions form part of his authoritarian regime's bid to ransack the country in its final days in power. Joshua Goodman of the Associated Press joins Hari Sreenivasan. They form an important voting constituency in a swing state often critical to the outcome of USA national elections.

The United States on Monday imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm, aimed at pressuring Maduro to step down.

Venezuela is suffering from hyperinflation, food shortages and a mass migration of citizens to neighbouring Latin American countries - a situation likely to be worsened in the short term by the new sanctions.

"You have time to put yourselves on the right side of history", Guaido said. Guaido led a peaceful demonstration Wednesday in Caracas, a week after street protests deteriorated into days of violence that resulted in the deaths of almost three dozen people during clashes with government security forces.

He said: "Power is evaporating from Maduro's hands with the passing of the hours".

It said: "Whatever views people hold on Venezuela, there is no justification for backing the United States attempt at regime change under way, which, if successful, could go the way of the disastrous interventions in Iraq and Libya".

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