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In Venezuela, US diplomats can stay and defuse the showdown



  Protesters shout slogans while a barricade burned during a demonstration against the policy of Nicolas Maduro. Rally against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and commemorate the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in Caracas.

Roman Camacho | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Protesters shout slogans as a barricade burned during a demonstration against Nicolas Maduro's policies. Meeting against the Government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and also commemorating the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in Caracas.

Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused Trump's attempt to "carry out a coup against Maduro". He said Venezuela did not threaten international peace and security, and he accused "extremist opponents" of Maduro's government of choosing "maximum confrontation", including the artificial creation of a parallel government.

Nebenzia asked Pompeo to say if the US would do this Use military force.

Pompeo later told reporters who asked for an answer, "I will not think about what the US will do next."

Pompeo was accompanied by Elliott Abrams to New York the day before appointed US Special Representative for Venezuela. Abrams was a former Secretary of State for Latin America who worked in the White House when in 2002 in Venezuela he repressed a raid by Maduro, the late Hugo Chavez, for a short time.

On his first day of work, Abrams met with exiled leaders of Venezuela's opposition. He also spoke by phone to Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled congress in Venezuela. Abrams reaffirmed US support for Guaido as interim president, said Kimberly Breier, current Deputy Secretary of State for the region.

The Security Council, the United Nations' most powerful body, has not taken action because of the crisis in Venezuela's divisions. The five permanent veto members of the Security Council could not unite behind a statement on Venezuela, which contained very different texts.

The leaders of two of these council states – France and Britain – joined Spain and Germany to increase pressure on Maduro and said on Saturday that they would follow the US and others to recognize Guaido as president if Venezuela failed call for a new presidential election within eight days.

The foreign policy chief of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, said if no new announcement is announced In the elections in the coming days, the 28-State bloc will "take further action, including the issue of recognition of the leadership of the country."

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has rejected the deadline.

"Europe gives us eight days?" he asked the council. "How do you know that you have the power to set a deadline or an ultimatum for a sovereign people, it's almost childish."


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