12:21 GMT23 January 2021
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    Brazil was one of the first countries to endorse Juan Guaido, who declared himself Venezuelan president in January. President Nicolas Maduro has shut down border crossings with Brazil in a bid to prevent the opposition from bringing in US-sponsored relief.

    Only a Juan Guaido-led Venezuelan government can pay all its debt commitments to China, Brazilian Vice President Antonio Hamilton Mourao suggests.

    China is "waiting to receive what Venezuela owes to it, regardless of the government," Hamilton Mourao told reporters in Bogota on Monday, as cited by EFE news agency.

    "China has a very clear understanding that [President Nicolas] Maduro is not going to pay. Guaido and his group are those who are going to pay when they come (to power)," he added.

    The vice president noted that the military option has never been on the table for Brazil, but pledged to keep stepping up "diplomatic, political, and economic pressure" in order to oust Maduro.

    He made the comments during a meeting of the Lima Group, a bloc of American nations created in 2017 to tackle the alleged erosion of democracy under Nicolas Maduro, which has endorsed self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido.

    READ MORE: Venezuela Refuses to Become the 68th Sovereign Government Overthrown By America

    On 23 January, three weeks after heading the country's opposition-controlled parliament, Guaido declared himself the leader of Venezuela until a fresh presidential election is held.

    President Maduro called Guaido a puppet of Washington and refused to step down. He was supported by Russia, China, Mexico, and Turkey, with a spate of Western countries throwing their weight behind the opposition leader.

    Tensions have mounted in the past month over the issue of humanitarian aid. Juan Guaido aims to ensure supplies of US-sponsored humanitarian assistance from hubs in Colombia and Brazil. Venezuela's authorities, which receive aid from the United Nations and Russia, have refused to let in deliveries from the United States, saying that they could be used as a pretext for a full-scale military intervention in the country.

    Nicolas Maduro closed Venezuela's border crossings with Brazil as well as its air and sea border with the Dutch islands of Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire, after Guaido said Curacao would become a third collection point for foreign humanitarian aid.



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    debt, opposition, humanitarian aid, crisis, Lima Group, Nicolas Maduro, Hamilton Mourao, Juan Guaido, US, Brazil, Venezuela
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