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On Sunday, Israel and Australia joined countries backing the 35-year-old Guaido, and U.S. President Donald Trump said his government had accepted Venezuelan opposition figure Carlos Alfredo Vecchio as a diplomatic representative to the United States.

White House national security adviser John Bolton warned on Sunday (Jan 27) against violence or intimidation of American diplomats in Venezuela or opposition leader Juan Guaido, saying such action would trigger a response from the United States.

Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands said on January 26 that they would recognize Guaido as Venezuela's interim president unless Maduro called elections in eight days.

On Sunday, Guaido attended a mass in Caracas in honor of the political prisoners and opposition leaders in exile, as well as the nearly 30 people killed and the more than 350 arrested in clashes with security forces in the past week. In the face of growing pressure Nicholas Maduro said "we don't want to be a North American colony". Bolton later tweeted the the USA urges all nations to "support the democratic aspirations of the Venezuelan people as they try to free themselves from former president Maduro's illegitimate mafia state".

In an interview with CNN that aired Sunday, Maduro said he was open to a dialogue with the U.S. but that it was improbable - but not impossible - that he meet Trump.

A major oil producer, Venezuela has been wracked by hyper-inflation, food shortages and intense crime since Maduro came to power in 2013.

The United States and many Latin countries recognize Guaido as president. "This is complete insolence", Maduro said, describing the European countries' actions as a "mistake".

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday oversaw a display of the military's Russian weapons in what he said was a show of the army's loyalty and willingness to defend the country.

On Friday, he held a news conference in a Caracas plaza announced hours in advance on social media, and on Sunday he attended a church service for victims of anti-government unrest.

"I think both those factors seem to have sparked fears about slowing demand growth, which have been one of the main bearish drivers in the market for a while", McGillian said. The country sends 41 percent of its oil exports to the U.S. Critically, U.S. refiners are among the few customers that pay cash to Venezuela for its oil.

On Saturday, Venezuela's military attaché in Washington, Col. José Luis Silva Silva said he stands with Guaido.

Encouraged by the global support for his cause, Guaido is on a mission to weaken the military's support of Maduro, which has been essential to keeping him in power since 2013.

Oil fell about 3 percent on Monday, its biggest one-day percentage drop in a month, after an increase in US crude drilling pointed to further supply growth amid continuing concerns about a global economic slowdown.

On Wednesday, following mass demonstrations throughout the country, Gauido, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, announced President Nicolas Maduro as illegitimate and declared himself as the interim president.


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