Maduro diehards vow to defend Venezuela leader 'tooth and nail'

US gives Juan Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets

The US has been pressing all countries to part ways with President Nicolas Maduro and recognise Guaido as interim president

The White House said Trump and Juan Guaido, the opposition leader trying to replace Maduro, agreed to maintain regular communication after Venezuelan authorities opened an investigation that could lead to Guaido's arrest.

Late Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump tweeted that he had spoken with Guaido that day to "congratulate him on his historic assumption of the presidency" and to reinforce "strong United States support for Venezuela's fight to regain its democracy".

Chavez's oil-fueled spending lifted millions of Venezuelans out of poverty after he came to power in 1999, inspiring a loyalty to his successor that still endures.

The 35-year-old National Assembly president, an engineer by training, is attempting to force the 56-year-old Maduro from power so he can set up a transitional government and hold new presidential elections. So, what's the true intent and goal of the United States and Guaido? The Venezuelan Constitution requires the people to reject a government that violates human rights or disturbs the democratic order.

Therefore, to prevent being marginalized and win more worldwide support, the Maduro government should make greater efforts to explain the situation in Venezuela.

As leader of the country's parliament, the National Assembly, Guaidó says he is constitutionally bound to take charge if there is no legitimate president in the country.

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Washington: US sanctions imposed against Venezuela this week have cut off the final "gemstone" of the country´s collapsed oil sector.

Rising US oil production late a year ago left the country a net exporter of crude and petroleum products for the first time in decades. "We have no future", he told Al Jazeera.

"We're in conversation with major American companies now", he said.

"We have long had contacts with people whom we have not granted diplomatic recognition in different countries around the world", he added.

"They (the opposition) didn't want to go to the last May elections, it was their choice and now they cry fraud", he said.

Since 2017, Washington had already forbidden U.S. citizens and companies from trading debt issued by Venezuela or PDVSA. "Their duty would have been to participate, and then let the most popular party win".

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But Washington´s financial pressures applied on Monday against PDVSA will freeze $7 billion in US-based assets and block more than $11 billion in export proceeds.

Still, conflict would bring a unity of sorts, mused Willchez. The US is also handing over control of some of Venezuela's bank accounts in the US to the opposition leader.

Carmen Martinez was walking from the western district of El Paraiso to Maduro's Miraflores presidential palace for a "vigil".

Maduro, however, has vowed to stay in power-at whatever means necessary. President Nicolas Maduro said on national television.

Near Miraflores, someone had drawn graffiti of Trump with a swastika on his chest, titled "Donazi". "He is not the democratically elected president of Venezuela".

His country is the target of a media and psychological war, Maduro said.

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Venezuela's struggle to pay its debts even to allies Russian Federation and China amid a sharp drop in oil output has been exacerbated by the new sanctions, which will make it very hard to sell oil to its main client, the United States.

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