US Imposes Sanctions Against Venezuela's PDVSA

Israel recognizes Venezuelas opposition as official government

The Trump administration on Monday ordered USA companies doing business with Venezuela to divert payments to special blocked accounts, in a quest to keep one of the country's few sources of revenue from flowing to the government of Nicolás Maduro.

"Any violence and intimidation against United States diplomatic personnel, Venezuela's democratic leader, Juan Guiado [sic], or the National Assembly itself would represent a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response", Bolton warned in a tweet on Sunday.

Details of the USA plan comes as tensions in Venezuela threaten to boil over after opposition leader Guaido called for a strike on Wednesday followed by a large scale protest on Saturday against Maduro's government.

Australia has now joined Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and a string of Latin American countries in recognising Mr Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader until elections are able to be held in the conflict-stricken country. "Venezuela wants peace. and to guarantee peace, we have to be prepared", said Maduro.

Israel recognizes Venezuelas opposition as official government
Venezuela's power struggle turns to winning military favor

"Our nations must stand up for the rule of law and support the leader who the Venezuelan people have affirmed as their legitimate interim president", Pompeo said. Speaking with CNN Turk, Maduro said the European countries " should withdraw this ultimatum.

Maduro has stood firm in the face of demonstrations against his rule this week, winning the endorsement of key military leaders and vowing to defeat what he calls a USA -backed coup against his government.

Guaido has the support of the US and some Latin American countries like Argentina and Chile. "This is complete insolence", he said.

The Trump administration's quick recognition of Guaido was quickly met with alarm by progressive anti-war advocates and commentators, who denounced the move as the beginnings of a coup and warned that U.S. intervention in Venezuela's internal affairs will only make the country's economic and political crises worse.

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Venezuela's Foreign Ministry says it has extended a deadline for US diplomats to leave following it's rupture in relations. Last week Guaido declared himself interim leader on grounds that Maduro's re-election a year ago was fraudulent.

In the interview with CNN Turk, Maduro accused the USA of mounting a coup attempt against him - a regular refrain - and insisted Guaido was "violating the constitution".

He said the USA would 'continue to hold the illegitimate Maduro regime directly responsible for any threats it may pose to the safety of the Venezuelan people'.

The first major military officer to publicly switch his support to Guaido was Venezuela's military attache in Washington, Army Colonel Jose Luis Silva.

The United States has condemned last year's Venezuelan election, in which Maduro won another term, as a charade that was neither free or fair. Reuters news agency reported on Friday that private military contractors who do secret missions for Russian Federation flew into Venezuela to beef up security for Maduro.

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Maduro has backed down on his order to shut down the USA embassy in Caracas and the expulsion of all US diplomats.

Guaido said opposition sympathizers should take to the streets on Wednesday to pass out copies of a pamphlet proposing amnesty that would give some legal protection to members of the military in hopes they will turn against Maduro.

Both Russia and China are major creditors of Venezuela.

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