11:27 GMT29 May 2020
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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (579)

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s ambassador to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, during a meeting urged US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers to intensify pressure on President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

    "We must ensure that humanitarian aid can enter soon to serve all Venezuelans, while increasing pressure against the regime," Vecchio said according to a press release issued by his office after the meeting on Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, Guaido told his supporters that US humanitarian aid would be delivered on February 23. Maduro so far has refused to accept aid that the United States has delivered to neighboring Colombia, blasting it as a ploy to topple his government. Maduro said the United States should help by lifting economic sanctions.

    READ MORE: Guaido Hires US Lobbyists, Including Ex-World Bank Official — FARA Filing

    On Monday, Christoph Harnisch, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Columbia, said his organization will not assist in delivering the goods to Venezuela because the ICRC does not consider the US assistance to be humanitarian aid.

    Earlier this month, the ICRC warned US officials against politicizing humanitarian assistance and delivering aid without consent of local authorities. UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric told reporters last week, referring to the crisis in Venezuela, that humanitarian action must be independent of political or military objectives.

    The US government seized billions of dollars in Venezuelan oil assets after Guaido proclaimed himself the country’s interim president on 23 January, disputing Maduro's re-election, which took place last year.

    READ MORE: Caracas EU Envoy Notes Global Support for Maduro Amid National Crisis

    Guaido's declaration was almost immediately recognized by the United States and some of its allies. EU states were expected to issue a joint statement recognizing Guaido, who has been slammed by Maduro as a "US puppet," but Italy reportedly vetoed the motion.

    Russia, China, Mexico, Turkey, Uruguay and several other states have said that they supported Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela.

    Political Crisis in Venezuela (579)


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    crisis, Nancy Pelosi, Nicolas Maduro, Juan Guaido, Carlos Vecchio, United States, Venezuela
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