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Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro sent 100 tons of construction material to Cuba in the wake of a deadly tornado that caused serious losses in Havana a week ago, according to the Miami Herald, a move that comes as Maduro has dismissed offers of worldwide aid amid a political crisis in his own country.

"We have a huge relationship with different people in the army force".

European Union support, opposition leaders say, may also help break the Maduro government's narrative that Venezuela's crisis is simply a proxy war between the U.S. and Russian Federation.

Maduro said he has asked Francis to "facilitate and reinforce" dialogue on Venezuela's crisis.

Canada and the Lima Group of more than a dozen North and South American countries have backed Guaido as the legitimate replacement for Maduro, who followed left-wing populist Hugo Chavez into Venezuela's presidency after Chavez's death in 2013. "Venezuelans have the right to express themselves freely and democratically", he wrote on Twitter.

Air Force General Francisco Yanez disavowed Maduro in a video this weekend, calling on members of the military to defect.

Sanchez said: "We are working for the return of full democracy in Venezuela: human rights, elections and no more political prisoners".

"The oppression of the illegitimate, kleptocratic Maduro regime must end", he said.
"A lot of those problems are a result of precisely of the economic sanctions levied against Venezuela and the fact that we've seen oil prices crash globally", he said. Two plainclothed police officers escorted the two women out without incident.

"We are looking at what further steps we can take to ensure peace and democracy in Venezuela including through sanctions", the spokesman added. She rejected any suggestion that Canada or the Lima Group are fomenting an armed overthrow of the Maduro regime.

Guaido is trying to force from power the socialist leader - labelled a dictator by the West and his Latin American neighbors after presiding over Venezuela's economic collapse - aiming to set up a transitional government and hold new presidential elections.

He said he finds the worldwide endorsement of Guaido "problematic" but his main concern is the prospect of military intervention - something the USA, which is not a member of the Lima Group, has mused about. "I would like to reaffirm. our actions and our co-operation with the Lima Group, along with Canada, and all the countries".

Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged Can$53 million ($40 million US) in humanitarian aid for Venezuelans amid the deepening crisis.

Palacek, like numerous protesters, said he doesn't blame Maduro or his predecessor Hugo Chavez for the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

Yesterday, a Labour spokesman said: 'We oppose outside interference in Venezuela ... the future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans'.

Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Francisco Popolizio Bardalen said the emboldened Venezuelan opposition "represents the beginning of the end of the dictatorship".

"If anyone believes that his management of the economy is in any way an example of how to go about it, then they need their heads examined".

A group of Latin American and European states are to hold their first meeting of a contact group in Montevideo on Thursday.

Italy does not recognize the result of Venezuela's presidential election last May, which Maduro won, and wants new elections as soon as possible, Italy's foreign minister told Agence France-Presse on Monday.

"The Spanish government announces that it officially recognizes Venezuela's National Assembly president as acting president of Venezuela", Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told reporters, urging Guaido to call elections quickly.


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