As Venezuelans protest, Maduro seeks early parliament vote

As Venezuelans protest, Maduro seeks early parliament vote

As Venezuelans protest, Maduro seeks early parliament vote

"You want elections? You want early elections?"

In addition, Maduro said that the Constituent Assembly now worked on a draft law to combat corruption.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro Saturday proposed an early election for the National Assembly, which was previously scheduled to be held in 2020.

Shortly after protests broke out against Maduro last week, Venezuela's most important regional military commanders and its defense minister issued a statement in support of Maduro, describing Guaido as a coup monger backed by Washington.

The high command's web page lists Yanez, along with a photo, as the air force's head of strategic planning.

Maduro's adversaries say he has run roughshod over democratic institutions, including the opposition-run congress, and destroyed the once-buoyant economy through a corruption-riddled exchange control system and arbitrary nationalizations. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey stood up for Maduro's support.

Guaido swore himself in as interim president on January 23 in a direct challenge to Maduro's rule and quickly won the backing of countries in the region, but still has no control over state institutions or any functions of day-to-day governance.

At an opposition rally in Caracas, Guaido told his supporters he expected more to follow Yanez's example.

"I am certain many officials and soldiers will repeat this gesture, very soon, very soon", he said. "We want a better present and future and we are about to achieve that". Maduro asked Trump during his rally. The last round of demonstrations took place Wednesday.

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Humanitarian aid from an "international coalition" would soon flow into Venezuela, which is facing rampant hunger and medicine shortages, from collection points in Brazil, Colombia and a Caribbean island, Guaido said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told a Florida rally on Friday that the time for dialogue had ended and all options were on the table.

Zeleyka Muskus, a 53-year-old tax collector from Caracas, said the opposition was responsible for the country's current economic woes, saying they have staged years of protests that have gotten people injured and killed. The self-declared president has no control over state institutions or any functions of day-to-day governance.

The US, European Union and Organization of America States all dismissed the election as fraudulent.

The U.S. has led an worldwide campaign to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Maduro, including sanctioning the country's state-owned oil company and a joint venture with its Nicaraguan counterpart.

"(U.S. President Donald) Trump is imposing measures because he is the dictator of the world and thinks we are his slaves", said Gregory Carrasquel, 35, at the pro-government rally in Caracas, attended by many public sector workers wearing the trademark red socialist shirts.

Four major European nations - Britain, France, Germany and Spain - have said they will join the United States and several Latin American countries in recognizing Guaido as interim president if Maduro doesn't call presidential elections by midnight on Sunday.

Russian banker Maxim Shashenkov told FBN that Putin is keenly interested in Venezuela because he effectively is trying to goad the administration, like he believes the USA needs the Kremlin.

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