Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Russian Plane, 20 Tons of Gold Add to Venezuelan Chaos

Gold bars Bank of England Denial to Return Gold to Venezuela'Warning for Others- Expert Sputnik Vitaliy Bezrukih
Russell Knight | 31 January, 2019, 02:28

Venezuela's Supreme Court has barred opposition leader Juan Guaido from leaving the country as global pressure mounts against the government led by President Nicolas Maduro.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted "Maduro willing to negotiate with opposition in Venezuela following U.S. sanctions and the cutting off of oil revenues".

"Presidential elections in Venezuela have taken place, and if imperialists want new elections let them wait until 2025", Maduro told RIA. He said he was aware of Trump's "orders" for the Colombian government and the local mafia to kill him.

In his first direct message to the American people, the Venezuelan leader urged them to stop the USA government from entangling the nation in a pointless and inherently doomed military adventure. If the money is transferred.it will be used by the illegitimate and kleptocratic regime of Nicolas Maduro to repress and brutalise the Venezuelan people'.

The poll was boycotted by the opposition in protest at the detention, barring and exile of many of their most prominent leaders.

Russian Federation vowed to "do everything" to protect Maduro against U.S. efforts to oust him as the Trump administration issued new sanctions against Venezuela on Monday, without elaborating what steps it would take.

But the plan was complicated by the Venezuelan Supreme Court's decision to freeze Guaido's bank accounts and bar him from leaving the country, after chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab announced he was opening a criminal investigation of Maduro's rival.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told Russian state news agencies Tuesday "there will probably be problems" for Venezuela in paying its debts.

The Trump administration said the sanctions are meant to preserve the assets for the Venezuelan people.

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Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2 if an agreement can not be reached. But here, too, there are "no guarantees" that Beijing would follow through on these pledges, one of the people said.

The U.S. announcement raised its travel advisory to its highest level, putting Venezuela on a no-travel list that also includes Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan.

Guaido launched a direct challenge to Maduro's authority last week when he declared himself acting president.

Maduro's reelection past year was disputed by the opposition, and criticised internationally - but the socialist leader has until now retained the loyalty of the powerful military.

Venezuela's economy is ravaged by hyperinflation and widespread food and medicine shortages that have driven millions of people to leave the country.

Last week, a group of soldiers rose up against Maduro.

"I have given specific instructions to the head of PDVSA to launch political and legal action in US and worldwide courts to defend the property and assets of Citgo", he said on Venezuelan television. More than 40 people have died so far in and around the protests that began a week ago, the United Nations human rights office said.

The US State Department is telling Americans not to travel to Venezuela, warning of the threat of being arbitrarily arrested or caught in a protest.

Venezuelan opposition party member and ex-banker, Jose Guerra, has alleged at least 20 tons of gold bars from the country's central - a total of 20% of the bank's holdings - were on-board.

Maduro accused the USA media of waging a "brutal campaign of false images" to support the Trump administration's interference in Venezuela.

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