The re-invigorated political stand-off between Nicolas Maduro and his vocal and inspired opponents has turned the gaze of the international community towards Venezuela's humanitarian and economic plight.
The South American country is navigating uncharted Juan Guiado declared himself interim head of state on Wednesday and demanded democracy and free elections – quickly garnering the diplomatic backing of the United States. Maduro has been declared guilty as the Interim President.
"The citizens of Venezuela have been sentenced to the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime," President Donald Trump said of Venezuela on Wednesday.
"The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken against Maduro and his regime and demand freedom and the rule of law."
US-BACKED VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER DECLARES HIMSELF INTERIM PRESIDENT IN EFFORT TO OUST MADURO
In a seemingly coordinated and united front, Canada, and some Latin American and European countries echoed President Trump, saying they are supporting Guaido's claim to the presidency.
The people of Venezuela are bravely working for a free future for their country, "German government spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted on Thursday.
Maduro, who started his second term as president on January 11 after highly disputed elections and accusations of undemocratic actions, responded in kind. He broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S. – its biggest trading partner for the oil-exporting nation – and recalling the long history of heavy-handed U.S. interventions in Latin American.
"Do not trust the gringos," he thundered to a crowd of red-shirted supporters gathered outside the presidential palace. "They do not have friends or loyalists.
Washington said it would ignore the order to remove its diplomats in 72 hours.
Maduro has received the backing from China, Iran, MADURO SEVERING VENEZUELAN RELATIONS WITH US
Russia has been propping up Maduro with. Syria, Cuba, Turkey and Russia – who commited the actions of the opposition as against "attempted coup"
arms deliveries and loans. Maduro visited Moscow in December, seeking Russia's political and financial support. Over the last decade, China has given Venezuela $ 65 billion in loans, cash, and investment. Venezuela owes more than $ 20 billion.
"Venezuela is friendly to us and our strategic partner," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the International Affairs. "We have supported them and will support them."
So he warned against any U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, saying it would be a "catastrophic scenario that could shake the foundations of the development model of Latin America."
The European Union called for Venezuelan authorities to respect the "civil rights, freedom and safety
"On 23 January, the people of Venezuela have massively called for democracy and the possibility to freely assess their own destiny policy chief Federica Mogherni said in a statement: "The EU strongly calls for an immediate political process leading to free and credible elections, in conformity with the constitutional order."
The UN chief has called for dialogue and says violence or escalation should be avoided.
"United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
VENEZUELA'S MADURO STARTS SECOND TERM DESPITE WORSENING ECONOMIC CRISIS, GROWING INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION
Tensions started ramping up earlier this month as Maduro
The assault on Maduro's rule came after large crowds.
The assault on Maduro's rule came after large crowds gathered in Caracas waving flags and chanting "Get out, Maduro!" 120 dead in 2017.
There were no signs that Guaido's call to join the anti-Maduro movement
Marco Ponce a coordinator with the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, a human rights monitoring group, said at least 12 had been killed overall, giving names but no details on the other cases.
Amid the showdown, all eyes are on the military, The traditional arbiter of political disputes in Venezuela.
The 35-year-old Guaido has the near-impossible task of pushing forward the transition of power without control over crucial state institutions and armed
" The peop.
"The peop Nicolas Maduro Moros to be their president, Major General Manuel Gregorio Bernal said.
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Maduro has relied extensively on the military to maintain power amid the country's growing economic hardships and humanitarian crisis.
"While it's true that Guaido has been recognized internationally, the real power of the state is in the hands of Nicolas Maduro," Ronal Rodriguez, a political science professor who was on Venezuela at Rosario University in Bogota, told Reuters.
Fox News' Nicole Darrah, Hollie McKay and the Associated Press contributed to this report.