Maduro: US corporations want Venezuela's resources

Foreign Ministers of the Lima Group gather for a meeting concerning Venezuela in Lima Peru Friday Jan. 4 2019

The US, which has not ruled out a military intervention in crisis-wracked Venezuela, was the first to recognize his claims followed by a dozen Latin American countries. The stash included at least 19 rifles and 118 magazines, high-caliber ammunition, as well as 90 radios and six mobile phones - and was likely sent from Miami, Florida on Sunday, authorities believe.

- The Venezuelan Supreme Court, stacked with Maduro loyalists, has remained solidly behind the socialist leader, ruling last month that all actions taken by the congress - led by Guaido - are null and void.

Guaido says the May 2018 vote in which Maduro won a second term was a sham and on January 23 invoked a constitutional provision to declare himself president, promising free and fair elections.

The situation deteriorated when Guaidó declared himself interim president and was recognized by a number of countries around the world including the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.

Speaking further, the ambassador said that Venezuela would favor Russia's mediation in the settlement of the escalating political crisis in the country.

Guaido is trying to force Maduro from power, set up a transitional government and hold a new presidential poll.

The 35-year-old Guaido, accused by Maduro's government of staging a USA -directed coup, has galvanized Venezuela's opposition with a hopeful message. He spoke at a military rally designed, in part, to display his support among Venezuela's military leaders.

But Trump has appeared to relish the fight against President Nicolas Maduro, a leftist firebrand fond of criticizing USA foreign policy who presides over a crumbling economy in which food and basic supplies are scarce and millions have fled to neighboring countries. Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

They have joined the U.S. in pushing for a change of regime in Venezuela, which is now seeing an acute shortage of medicines and hyperinflation despite being an oil-rich country.

The U.N. had earlier this week offered to mediate the meeting - which will involve eight European Union member states, as well as Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Uruguay. Turkey is among at least nine nations, including Russian Federation and China, that have declared support for Maduro. Uruguay's central bank and the office of the country's president did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this month, Wood Mackenzie analyst Ann-Louise Hittle warned that Venezuela's crude oil production could fall below 1 million bpd after the United States imposed new sanctions on struggling oil firm PDVSA.

In her opening remarks at the meeting, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the Lima Group allies stand on the side of human rights and of a peaceful, democratic and constitutional transition in Venezuela.

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