Maduro calls for return of Venezuela's UK-deposited gold

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Venezuela's opposition has called its supporters into the streets across the country in a campaign to break the military's support of President Nicolas Maduro, who refuses to let emergency food and medicine from the United States across the border.

Incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

The lawyer and worldwide law expert was appointed Venezuelan ambassador to Brazil by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has been recognised by dozens of countries as the head of Venezuela's legitimate government instead of leftist President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro wants that, but Venezuela's opposition is sceptical given past dialogue failures and Guaido says the starting point for any talks must be Maduro's exit.

Last week, the United States and other regional contributors sent three humanitarian aid convoys to checkpoints in Colombia and Brazil bordering Venezuelan territory intended for Venezuelans and Venezuelan refugees fleeing the country.

Venezuela's economic crisis has left people from all walks of life struggling for food, basic living essentials and medicine.

Venezuela is in the midst of a disastrous economic crisis marked by hyperinflation, recession and dire shortages of food and medicines.

While resisting overwhelming Western pressure, Maduro has consistently said he believes in "dialogue and mutual understanding" between all Venezuelans.

The power dispute in Venezuela has been fueled by US President Donald Trump, who has threatened Maduro with serious consequences if he does not surrender power peacefully.

The opposition blames Maduro for the meltdown, accusing him of corruption and of rigging elections to stay in power. Guaido did not specify from where aid would enter, but said the opposition would go in a convoy to safeguard the supplies.

"Put yourselves on the side of the constitution, but also on the side of humanity", Venezuela's self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido tells the country's military.

Armed military forces have continued to guard a blocked bridge between Venezuela and Colombia, cutting humanitarian aid off from the country. To do so, he needs the support of the armed forces. "Who are we? Venezuelan doctors!"

The election of a new president "on a credible, legitimate basis" would give Venezuelans hope of a better future, Steinmeier said late Monday.

"There are people responsible for this and the regime should know it", Guaido said after attending Sunday Mass.

Juan Guaidó is touring Venezuela this week, meeting with journalists and citizens.

More than 40 percent of Venezuela's oil, which makes up 96 percent of its revenue, is sold to the United States, and Washington is using sanctions as an attempt to starve Maduro's regime of its funding.

Maduro is refusing to step down or call for a new election, accusing the USA of orchestrating a coup attempt.