Venezuela Opposition Urges Walkouts to Pressure Maduro

The showdown in Venezuela once again playing out in the streets.

Juan Guaido, rival to current president Nicolas Maduro, has written to Prime Minister Theresa May and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, urging them to keep hold of the stocks.

Speaking to Russian state TV he said: "Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Columbia and the Columbian mafia to kill me".

Fuel in Venezuela is practically free: one dollar can buy more than 300 million liters of fuel but only a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of onions.

More than 40 people were killed and 850 detained in anti-Maduro protests last week, according to the United Nations.

Venezuela is now facing a political crisis and large anti-government protests.

The United States has emerged as Guaido's most powerful ally, announcing on Tuesday that it was giving him control of Venezuela's USA bank accounts.

Socialist Party boss Diosdado Cabello, widely seen as the second most-powerful person in the country, blasted the United States and its "lackeys" in the region for trying to topple Mr Maduro by violent means.

The White House said Guaido thanked Trump for committing the U.S. to freedom and prosperity in Venezuela and the region.

"There's a Cold War atmosphere", says Thomas Posado, an expert in foreign relations at the Paris VIII university in France, but "it's a lot less ideological".

"Do you want to be a coward?" he yelled in a call and response session with hundreds of soldiers on Wednesday.

John Bolton said in a tweet that there will be serious consequences for those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaido.

"With these measures, they intend to rob us", he said.

"We're working to bring in humanitarian aid as soon as possible", said Guaido.

However, the authoritarian leader did suggest it "would be very good to conduct parliamentary elections at an earlier stage, it would be a good form of political discussion", and said he was "ready to sit down at the negotiating table with the opposition so that we could talk for the good of Venezuela".

"They cannot invent that Venezuela and Maduro have [weapons of mass destruction] so they could intervene, they now invent lies every day, false news to justify an aggression against our country." .

The European Union, US and many Latin American countries joined the opposition in dismissing the legitimacy of the election Maduro won in May - one boycotted by the opposition.

The 35-year-old head of the National Assembly legislature "is prohibited from leaving the country until the end of the (preliminary) investigation", high court president Maikel Moreno said.

Elections would merely give Maduro the chance to regain control of the National Assembly.

"Venezuela is set on change", Mr Guaido said.

Trump's national security advisor Bolton called Monday for Venezuela's security forces "to accept the peaceful, democratic and constitutional transfer of power".

"We raise our protest in peace and prepare for Saturday throughout Venezuela and the world", he added.

  • Eleanor Harrison