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Venezuela Crisis: Guaidó refuses talks with Maduro

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Media Signature Who is really responsible in Venezuela? BBC President Paul Adams Explains

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has denied a call for talks by President Nicolás Maduro in the midst of an ongoing power struggle between the two.

Mr Guaidó declared himself "acting president" on Wednesday, was recognized by several countries, including the United States.

On Friday he rejected the demand for "false dialogue" with Mr. Maduro, but said he would consider offering amnesty.

A UN Security Council meeting on the crisis is due on Saturday.

Mr. Maduro began a second term earlier this month after polls were affected by an opposition boycott and electoral fraud claims.

The international community is divided as to whether its government should be recognized.

Mr. Maduro has described attempts by Mr. Maduro Guaidó to seize power as a "coup d'état" influenced by the US, and has broken off diplomatic relations in response.

But in a televised speech on Friday, Mr. Maduro appealed directly to US President Donald Trump and said he would be willing to talk to him.

Mr. Maduro has so far received the support of the country's military, but Mr. Guaidó has asked them to "join the Venezuelan people" and support him instead.

He also called for large-scale demonstrations calling for Maduro's resignation to be held next week.

Why is Maduro unpopular?

Venezuela is in economic crisis ̵

1; hyperinflation and lack of essential material hit the population hard and made millions flee.

Mr. Maduro faced internal opposition and ongoing international criticism for his human rights record and his dealings with the business community.

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Media signature Thousands gathered in Caracas on Wednesday against President Maduro

Guaidó, chairman of Venezuela's elected National Congress, said Wednesday that the country's constitution would allow him to take power as the presidency of Maduro is unlawful.

He has promised to run a transitional government and hold free elections.

Who supports whom?

The US, more than a dozen Latin American countries, Canada, and the United Kingdom supported Mr Guaidó after saying he was the legitimate president.

However, Russia has condemned Guaidó's foreign support for violating international law and providing a "direct route to bloodshed".

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned US policy towards Maduro as "destructive."

According to Reuters, Russian military entrepreneurs were secretly flown into the country to provide security for the president. China Mexico and Turkey have also publicly supported his regime.

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