14:23 GMT +321 May 2019
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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, center left, and his wife Cilia Flores, center right, wave at supporters during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for Venezuelans to fill streets around the country Wednesday to demand President Nicolás Maduro's ouster. Maduro is also calling for his supporters to rally.

    Maduro Says Ex-Venezuelan Intel Chief 'CIA Mole', Helped Plan Coup Attempt

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    Earlier the United States has lifted all sanctions on Venezuela's former intelligence service chief Gen. Manuel Cristopher Figuera after he broke ranks with President Nicolas Maduro last week to support opposition leader Juan Guaido.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the country's ex-intelligence chief Cristopher Figuera "a traitor," saying that the latter helped plan the coup attempt, which took place on 30 April.

    Maduro has also claimed that Figuera "was captured by the CIA a year ago and was working as a traitor, mole and infiltrator."

    In a speech broadcast on state television, Maduro said he had full confidence in Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino and Supreme Court chief Maikel Moreno, whom US officials said had been in talks with the opposition about plans to oust Maduro, Reuters report says.

    READ MORE: Pence: US Removes All Sanctions on Venezuela Military Official Who Joined Guaido  

    Last week, Guaido made another attempt to depose Maduro, staging a demonstration in front of La Carlota military base in Caracas. Guaido called on the people of Venezuela and the army to take to the streets to complete the operation to overthrow Venezuela's legitimate president.   

    In response, Maduro said that the commanders of all regions and zones of integral defence had reiterated their full loyalty to the authorities of the country. Similarly, Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino said Venezuela's armed forces remained loyal to Maduro and the country's constitution.

    Soon after the coup attempt, Venezuela's Constituent Assembly stripped seven opposition lawmakers of their parliamentary immunity, charging them with high treason, public conspiracy to violate the law, inciting civil uprising, and usurpation of power, among other crimes. One of the opposition lawmakers Edgar Zambrano was earlier apprehended by intelligence agents and put in pretrial detention at a military jail in Caracas.

    Self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido reportedly accused Maduro of "state terrorism" after the arrest of Zambrano.

    Another of Guaido's deputies  Americo de Grazia entered the Italian embassy in Caracas on Thursday, while a third Guaido deputy who was also stripped of immunity — Luis Florido — said that he had fled to Colombia.    

    READ MORE: Juan Guaido's Deputy Luis Florido Prosecuted For Failed Coup Flees to Colombia

    Earlier Guaido admitted that he is considering the possibility of foreign intervention in his country in order to achieve his goal of ousting democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reportedly signed a decree either reducing in rank or expelling dozens of officers, including high-ranking ones, from the country's armed forces due to their involvement in the coup attempt.

    The crisis in Venezuela began when opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president on 23 January, two weeks after President Nicolas Maduro's inauguration for a second term in May 2018.

    The US, Canada, some Latin American and European nations were quick to recognize Guaido as the new legitimate leader of Venezuela and have supported him in his attempts to oust Maduro from power.

    Russia, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for constitutionally-elected Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

    Moscow accused the US of supporting coup attempts and planning a military intervention in the Latin American state.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US has a "full-scale set of options" to resolve the Venezuelan crisis, claiming that any actions that the US takes in the country would be "lawful".

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (515)

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