Venezuela in crisis: All the latest updates

Venezuelans and the world await the next moves by two adversaries maneuvering for an edge in the power struggle.

    Venezuela has plunged into a major political crisis amid a growing row over President Nicolas Maduro's future as the country's leader. 

    Maduro started a second term on January 10, following a widely boycotted election last year that many foreign governments refused to recognise.

    On January 23, Juan Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself interim president.

    Shortly after Guaido took an oath swearing himself in, US President Donald Trump publicly recognised him as the country's leader. 

    Maduro accused Guaido of staging a coup and ordered his arrest.

    Here are all the latest updates as of Monday, April 22:

    Friday, April 19

    Venezuela's Guaido calls for 'largest march in country's history'

    United States-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Friday called on supporters to take to the streets on May 1 for what he called "the largest march in the history" of the South American country to keep the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to leave power.

    Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly - who in January invoked the constitution to declare himself interim president on the basis that Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate - reiterated his call for the country's armed forces to take his side in the three-month power struggle.

    Thursday, April 18

    Venezuela skirts US sanctions by 'funneling oil sales via Russia'

    President Nicolas Maduro is funnelling cash flow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade US sanctions designed to remove him from power, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters news agency.

    The sales are the latest sign of the growing dependence of Venezuela's cash-strapped government on Russia as the United States tightens a financial noose around Maduro.

    Tuesday, April 16

    First Red Cross aid delivery arrives in Venezuela

    The first shipment of humanitarian aid from the Red Cross arrived in Venezuela on Tuesday, delivering medicine and supplies for needy patients in a country whose president has long denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis.

    Workers in blue vests helped load boxes with the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies emblem onto trucks while leaders with the organisation pleaded for officials to keep the aid out of the nation's political dispute.

    "It will be distributed in conformance with the fundamental principles of our movement, especially neutrality, impartiality and independence," said Mario Villarroel, president of the Venezuelan Red Cross. "Don't allow the politicisation of this great achievement."

    Monday, April 15

    Foreign intelligence services should exit Venezuela: Lima Group

    The Lima Group regional bloc on Monday called for the exit of foreign security and intelligence forces from Venezuela and reiterated its rejection of the use of military force in the crisis-stricken South American nation.

    Lima Group urges UN to 'take action' over Venezuela crisis

    The Lima Group made up of mostly Latin American countries called on the United Nations on Monday to "take action" to prevent an escalation of Venezuela's humanitarian crisis.

    The group of 14 countries, which also includes Canada, exhorted UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the General Assembly and the Security Council to "take measures to avoid the progressive deterioration of peace and security, and to provide urgent humanitarian aid to the population of migrants coming from Venezuela."

    Venezuela accuses Canada of supporting Trump's 'war adventure'

    Venezuela accused Canada of supporting US President Donald Trump's "war adventure" after Ottawa announced new sanctions on top officials in President Nicolas Maduro's government.

    In a statement, Venezuela's foreign ministry said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "has invalidated Canada as a reliable actor in dialogue". 

    "It's alliance with war criminals that have declared their intention to destroy the Venezuelan economy to inflict suffering on the people and loot the country's riches demonstrates the hypocritical attitude of the Ottawa government in its pretentious concern for human rights," the foreign ministry said. 

    Canada hit Venezuela with fresh sanctions

    Canada announced new sanctions against 43 members of Maduro's government, including Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, whom it holds "responsible for the deteriorating situation" in the crisis-wracked South American country.

    The sanctions included a freeze on the individuals' assets and a ban on them conducting business with Canada, which previously sanctioned another 70 top government officials.

    Pompeo: US says it will hold Maduro accountable for crisis

    The US secretary of state in the Columbian border town of Cucuta on Sunday said the US will continue to pressure Maduro, and use "every economic and political means ... to help the Venezuelan people". 

    "Using sanctions, visa revocations and other means, we pledge to hold the regime and those propping it up accountable for their corruption and their repression of democracy," Mike Pompeo said.

    Pompeo met with Venezuelan refugees and called on Maduro to open the border to let aid through and to step down as president. 

    In his last stop on a four-country tour in Latin America he said Russia and Cuba would pay a price for supporting Maduro.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Venezuelan refugees in La Parada near Cucuta, Colombia on Sunday. [Fernando Vergara/AP]


     

    For all previous updates, click here. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies