China backs multinational efforts, calls for talks to end Venezuela crisis

A woman takes part in a rally in support of the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas Venezuela

"The principle battlefront at the moment is over humanitarian aid".

In the Friday interview, Guaido called on his supporters to stay in the streets and protest until Maduro allows the United States convoy to cross into Venezuela.

Blaming Maduro for bringing the dire social and economic crisis upon the sanctions-strangled Venezuela, Guaido has been taking advantage of the situation to push for regime change and pleading with his global support base to urgently send humanitarian aid. To convince those on-the-fence members to abandon Maduro, the USA must offer something that makes a turncoat move worthwhile, noted Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas think tank in Washington.

Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the provision of aid a "show" and a "message to humiliate the people".

He is trying to bring in food and medicines from the USA but the supplies are stuck in warehouses in Colombia because the Venezuelan military has blocked their entry.

Guaido, who has appealed to the military to back him, said the armed forces "have a dilemma: either they side with the people in need or with the dictatorship".

Maduro, after launching a signature-gathering campaign against alleged United States interference, has repeatedly stressed his sentiment that the main objective behind Washington's interest in the political outcome in Venezuela is the nation's oil reserves, said to the largest in the world.

With hawkish Trump White House officials like national security adviser John Bolton continuing to warn that US military intervention in Venezuela remains "on the table", Maduro published an open letter to the American public urging opposition to "warmongering and war".

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"We're going to open a humanitarian corridor and the doors to freedom", he told journalists.

Members of the South American country's security forces fear they or their families could be targeted by Maduro if they defect, so the USA would need to offer them something that could outweigh those concerns, said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas think tank in Washington.

Guaido is trying to force Maduro from power, aiming to set up a transitional government and hold presidential elections.

It would be understandable if foreign states simply call for new economic and fiscal policies in Venezuela, the end of oppression and the denial of basic human rights and even propose holding fresh elections if there are grounds for disputing the credibility and fairness of the elected president.

The EU-backed International Contact Group on Venezuela in its inaugural meeting in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo this week said overly forceful intervention could aggravate the crisis. Venezuela's chief military attache to the U.S. also said he was defecting late last month.

Philip Gunson is senior analyst for Venezuela at the International Crisis Group, and is based in Caracas.

-Question: Would you receive emissaries of the International Contact Group seeking a negotiated solution?

Maduro's government has accused Guaido, who has galvanized Venezuela's opposition, of attempting to stage a US-directed coup.

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