Venezuela's funds transfer blocked, opposition lawmaker says

Venezuela's funds transfer blocked, opposition lawmaker says

Pope Francis on Tuesday expressed willingness for the Vatican to mediate Venezuela's mounting crisis if both sides seek it. Russia, which along with China has backed Maduro in the crisis, underscored its view that the crisis can be resolved only with negotiations between the government and opposition. One official said more supplies would be staged in Brazil and in the Caribbean.

Portugal-based Novo Banco halted the $1.2 billion transfer of Venezuelan government financial assets to Uruguayan banks, legislator Carlos Paparoni said during a congressional session, a day after Guaido said authorities were trying to move funds.

The U.S. officials said trucks carrying the aid, including high-protein foods, would arrive in Cucuta this week at the request of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who last month declared himself to be the South American nation's interim president. "Similarly, they urge the National Armed Forces not to impede the entry and transit of humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans", the document said.

A senior USA administration official said it was up to Guaido to decide when and how to move the supplies into the country.

"The government of Venezuela needs to open the borders, that's it: Open the borders and let food convoys come into your country, open up your airports and let food flights fly in", said Graham, who said he spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump about the situation in December. It also called on Venezuela's military to give their loyalty to the interim president.

"I told him that I serve Christ's cause. and in this spirit I asked for his help, in a process of facilitating and strengthening dialogue", he said.

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"The United States of America stands ready to deliver humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people in Venezuela as well", Pence told a crowd of Venezuelan exiles.

With nearly no information about how aid will be distributed, the Cucuta crossing from Venezuela appeared to be quiet on Tuesday. The United Nations secretary general, in turn, called for dialogue to resolve the crisis. "We can not buy drugs in Venezuela, you die before you get them". "We are not beggars". Subsequently, Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro blasted these actions as an attempted coup and said he was cutting diplomatic ties with the United States.

"This is a pivotal moment for the people of Venezuela - we are observing a widespread rejection of the Maduro regime's illegitimate claim to power following fraudulent elections last May", he said.

Maduro's government, overseeing an economic collapse that has prompted three million Venezuelans to flee the oil-rich country, lashed out at the European Union nations and said the move would affect relations with Caracas.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a rally in support of the government and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the arrival to the presidency of the late President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela February 2, 2019.

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