Private military contractors from Russian Federation reportedly in Venezuela to protect Maduro

Posted January 26, 2019

The German government said on Friday that Venezuela needed to hold free and fair presidential elections or opposition leader Juan Guaido should be declared interim president.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has given U.S. diplomats 72 hours to leave the country after Donald Trump recognised the country's opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as interim president. Maduro says the nation's woes are a result of U.S. sanctions against the oil-rich state as well as deliberate attempts to sow discord among its people from overseas.

In a televised speech on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he opposed any kind of coup attempts all around the world, regardless of the identity of perpetrators.

The election past year was criticized by much of the global community because Maduro's most popular opponents were barred from running and it lacked basic guarantees like a team of impartial observers. He has held onto power in the face of mass protests, global pressure and opposition efforts to oust him. "The vote on this occasion was consistent with our support for key principles", the minister explained. Its hardships are further exacerbated by pressure from Washington that seeks to depose the current government led by Maduro.

"The time for debate is done".

Mr Bolton said: "What we're focusing on today is disconnecting the illegitimate Maduro regime from the sources of his revenues".

Guaido has offered an amnesty to soldiers who break ranks with Maduro, in an effort to win over potential defectors, including both officers and rank-and-file troops who may be tired of cracking down on their own people.

At an emergency meeting Thursday, 16 nations from the Organization of American States recognized Guaido as interim president.

A deep depression marked by hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine has triggered an exodus of Venezuelans to surrounding countries.

"Almost certainly the administration is going to have to find a way to get most of our people out of there, and leave behind some kind of symbolic presence to show that we did not leave", the former official said.

The Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict said that 16 people have died in clashes over the past three days.

Guaido has declared himself president with the strong support of the United States, Canada, Brazil and most other countries in Latin America, with the exception of Mexico, Cuba and some other left-wing states supporting Maduro's Socialist regime.

The department says it's taking the step for security reasons and that the embassy in Caracas will stay open.

Yevgeny Shabayev, leader of a local chapter of a paramilitary group of Cossacks with ties to Russian military contractors, said he had heard the number of Russian contractors in Venezuela may be about 400.

There's an ongoing political crisis in Venezuela, where lots of people have been involved in violent protests.

Maduro's presidency has coincided with a decline in Venezuela's socioeconomic status, with crime, inflation, poverty, and hunger increasing.

In a video earlier this week, Guaido said the constitution requires the military to disavow Maduro after his May 2018 re-election, which was widely condemned by the worldwide community because his main opponents were banned from running.