Maduro rejects European demands for new election

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The United States on Saturday called on the world to "pick a side" on Venezuela and urged countries to financially disconnect from Nicolas Maduro's government, while European powers signaled they were set to follow Washington in recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's rightful leader. No more delays, no more games. Yesterday morning he spoke at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on events in Venezuela. "Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem", Pompeo told the Security Council.

Maduro has come under increasing pressure to call democratic elections for Venezuela, and now faces an "international ultimatem", demanding that he call elections "within eight days", according to Reuters, as a number of powerful countries now recognize Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia charged that the Trump administration is trying "to engineer a coup" against Maduro.

Mr Maduro, however, says Venezuela is "the victim of a US conspiracy", referring to reports that US Vice President Mike Pence promised Mr Guaido full American support the day before he declared himself Venezuela's new leader.

Pompeo later told reporters who asked for a response, "I am not going to speculate or hypothesize on what the US will do next". He also had words for the USA secretary of state.

After the Security Council debate, Guaido sent a letter to Secretary General Antonio Guterres asking the United Nations for help addressing hunger, violence and the lack of medicines in his country.

In a country that has economically collapsed, with inflation forecast to hit a breathtaking 10 million percent this year, National Assembly chief Guaido said Wednesday he would "formally assume national executive powers" to end the "usurpation" of power by Nicolas Maduro.

"Fortunately, we don't depend on Europe". "Where do you get that you have the power to establish a deadline or an ultimatum to a sovereign people?"

The young head of the opposition-controlled congress declared himself Venezuela's interim president last week as part of a campaign to remove Maduro.

While small rebellions against Maduro have broken out in Venezuela's armed forces in recent months, there has been no large-scale military uprising against him.

"Venezuela will not allow anyone to impose on us any decision or order", Arreaza said, adding that Caracas has "excellent friends" it can call on for support to defend itself. U.S. diplomats in Venezuela have until Saturday to leave the country, but Washington has refused to fully comply fully with the exit order.

But support for Maduro's rule is weaker among the military's rank and file, whose households are suffering from widespread food shortages and hyperinflation like their civilian counterparts.

Some U.S. Embassy staff left Caracas on Friday, and Venezuela was withdrawing staff from Washington on Saturday, Venezuela's foreign ministry said in a statement. The uprising was quelled and 25 guardsmen arrested.