Venezuela in Turmoil: President Maduro says United States is plotting a coup

Venezuela's Guaido arrives for a news conference in Caracas on Friday

In an interview that aired on Sunday, Maduro rejected a European ultimatum to call elections within eight days and said Guaido violated the constitution by declaring himself interim leader. Greece's left-wing ruling Syriza party, however, voiced full support for Maduro.

Mr Maduro told CNN Turk that American "power in the world is in decline and it's ending".

Venezuela abandoned its decision to sever diplomatic ties with the USA, stating that each country agreed to keep a so-called interest section open in their respective capitals. The action would bolster Guaido, he said, while accusing Maduro's regime of "human rights violations and abuses in response to anti-Maduro protests, arbitrary arrest and detention of anti-Maduro protesters, curtailment of press freedom, harassment of political opponents, and continued attempts to undermine" Guaido's government-in-waiting.

Maduro started a second term on January 10 following a widely boycotted election past year that many foreign governments described as a sham.

Rubio praised the Trump administration for taking the action, which follows its earlier decision to recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president.

"All that is happening is linked to America".

The Venezuelan president said he was initially unaware of July 2016 defeated coup in Turkey - organized by Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) - and added he saw photographs of people on the streets.

In Washington, Republican Senator Marco Rubio, considered a key architect of the United States policy on Venezuela, played down the possibility of a military intervention despite his and Trump's warnings earlier in the week that "all options are on the table". He praised USA efforts to "support the restoration of democracy in Venezuela" but said "there are more questions than answers about the administration's strategy".

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In a press conferences, Guaido urged his followers to stage another mass protest next week, while Maduro pushed his call for dialogue. "Even while Maduro's government continues to brutally repress the poor and invisible, they won't harm Guaido because he has so much global support".

Thus far, the military has backed the leftist regime, which was ushered into power more than 20 years ago by the late Hugo Chavez, but there have been some signs of unrest.

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

Guaido's bid was swiftly endorsed by Canada, the United States and many Latin American countries.

The Turkish people will see that we will finally win.

Guaido asked the crowd. Whether or not this is true, Pence did deliver a video statement last week in which he declared "unwavering support" for the anti-Maduro protesters in Venezuela and told them that "we stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored".

The ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China looks unlikely to end any time soon and the impact of the dispute on the Chinese economy is increasing.

Carlos Luna, a professor of global relations at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, said Maduro's decision to allow interest sections represents a "loss in power". Moscow warns against interfering in the Venezuelan settlement, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, stressing that this position is Russia's key assistance that it can provide now to Caracas. Reuters reported last Friday that private military contractors who do secret missions for Russian Federation flew into Venezuela to beef up security for Mr Maduro. Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

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