U.S. raises travel advisory for Venezuela to 'Do Not Travel'

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Maduro said the United States is trying to "steal" Citgo from Venezuela.

The opposition-controlled legislature, meanwhile, named "diplomatic representatives" to a dozen countries that, like the USA, have recognized Guaido as the interim president.

Mr Maduro, sworn in on January 10 for a second term after disputed elections a year ago, accuses Mr Guaido of staging a US-directed coup against him.

Mr Guaido, the head of Venezuela's National Assembly, says he has spoken repeatedly with President Trump and called for "great pressure" on the repressive Maduro regime.

Lapper sees the role of China as critical in Venezuela and many other Latin American countries, which is a major change from the Cold War-era. The sanctions announced Monday will freeze any assets the state-owned PDVSA has in the United States, and bars USA firms and citizens from doing business with it.

Maduro said the talks could be held with the mediation of other countries.

Mr Maduro is backed by a number of countries, including Russian Federation.

Maduro also accused U.S. President Donald Trump of ordering a hit on him from Colombia.

"Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me", Maduro told RIA.

Venezuela's Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to a prosecutor's request to prevent opposition leader Juan Guaido from leaving the country while the Socialist government conducts a criminal probe into his activities.

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National security adviser John Bolton alerted Maduro and his supporters that any move to intimidate or target American diplomats or Guaido in the South American country would be met with a "significant response".

Attorney General Tarek William Saab told reporters the investigation was tied to unrest sparked by Guaido's decision to declare himself interim president last week in a direct challenge to Maduro's authority.

Venezuela's Government has struck back at self-declared interim president Juan Guaido, with the Supreme Court imposing a travel ban and freeze on his bank accounts despite a warning from the United States of "serious consequences" if it did so.

The UN human rights office said security forces in Venezuela had detained almost 700 people in one day last week amid anti-government protests - the highest such tally in a single day in the country in at least 20 years.

He added the threat of us sanctions, including cutting off Venezuelan oil revenues, contributed to the apparent softening of Maduro's stance.

Venezuela's economy is already ravaged by hyperinflation and widespread food and medical shortages that have driven millions of people to leave the country.

Maduro calls his regime a "solid democracy", despite overwhelming evidence that he has orchestrated fraudulent elections for most of his tenure, most prominently in May 2018, when he was "elected" president in an election barring opposition candidates from running.

The punitive measures could deprive Maduro's regime of 80 percent of its liquidity, analysts said, leaving many citizens anxious about how they will cope.

The travel advisory came just days after Trump administration officials maintained that military intervention is still on the table in their attempts to remove Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power. Trump also said there's a "Massive protest expected today". Pence said they discussed recent sanctions actions, "highlighting that these deprive Maduro and his cronies access to corrupt income and. preserve the country's wealth for the people of Venezuela".

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