Maduro has oppressed Venezuelans for years: Mike Pompeo

European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Policy chief Javier Solana right shakes hands with a member of the US National Security Council Elliot Abrams left prior to their meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels Belgium on Nov. 22 2006. Sec

European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Policy chief Javier Solana right shakes hands with a member of the US National Security Council Elliot Abrams left prior to their meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels Belgium on Nov. 22 2006. Sec

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo participated in and briefed the meeting.

"Nobody is going to give us deadlines or tell us if there are elections or not", Arreaza said.

Britain, Germany, France, Spain and Belgium all said on Saturday they would recognize Guaido as interim president unless Maduro called fresh elections within eight days.

In heated back-and-forth exchanges at a United Nations Security Council meeting, the opposing camp led by Venezuela and Russian Federation, which has invested heavily in Venezuela's oil industry, accused Washington of attempting a coup, and lambasted Europeans' demand that elections be called within eight days. Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told the Security Council.

"Europe is giving us eight days?" he asked the council.

Venezuelan armed groups loyal to Maduro have clashed with protesters supporting Guaido, leaving at least 20 people dead and many wounded, the United Nations human rights office said Friday. "The name of the president is president Maduro", he said.

But as the sun set on Venezuela's capital, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Maduro's government was suspending the expulsion to provide a 30-day window for negotiating with the Trump administration on setting up a "U.S. interests office" in Venezuela and a similar Venezuelan office in the United States.

DiCarlo's call for cooperation and dialogue was echoed by numerous Security Council's 15 members during the contentious debate that followed her briefing.

Pompeo urged countries to help isolate the Maduro regime economically, saying they should "assure that they disconnect their financial system from the Maduro regime". "The internal situation of this Latin American country should not be on the agenda". He said Cuba has sent "security and intelligence thugs" to sustain Maduro's "illegitimate rule".

"Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side ..." No more delays, no more games. "Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem", he said. "We call on all members of the Security Council to support Venezuela's democratic transition and interim President Guaido's role".

By overcoming opposition to holding the United Nations meeting on Saturday, Washington successfully put the global spotlight on Venezuela as a Security Council problem. Some staff from both embassies had already left by Saturday.

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He accused "extremist opponents" of Mr Maduro's legitimate Government of choosing "maximum confrontation", including the artificial creation of a parallel government.

Venezuelan citizens have been forced to take refuge amid nationwide political turmoil.

Guaido took a symbolic oath of office Wednesday proclaiming himself the nation's constitutional leader on grounds that Maduro's re-election previous year was fraudulent - an allegation supported by the USA, the European Union and many other nations.

In turn, Maduro insisted that he was the country's constitutional president and called the opposition leader a puppet manipulated by the United States. Guaido told the Americans to stay.

"I want to be 100 percent clear - President Trump and I fully expect that our diplomats will continue to receive protections provided under the Vienna Convention", he said.

"Do not test the United States on our resolve to protect our people", Pompeo warned. Caracas, he declared, would find its own way forward without interference.

The Maduro government has previously rejected such aid, denying there is a humanitarian crisis in the country and blaming economic problems on sanctions.

However, Jerusalem is said to be stalling on an announcement amid concerns the Maduro regime could respond with measures that could imperil members of the Venezuelan Jewish community. He said he is still willing to talk with the opposition.

Maduro was sworn in earlier this month amid protests after allegations of rigging the vote.

The US has been pushing for the worldwide community to back Maduro's ouster.

But Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Venezuela was not a threat to worldwide peace and security and, along with China, called for non-interference in the embattled Latin American country's affairs.

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