Juan Guaido Prepares to Meet With Venezuelan State Workers

Opposition leader and acting president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó arrives to Caracas after a tour around Latin America on Mar. 04 2019 in Caracas Venezuela

"They will not be able to lead us to a civil war in Venezuela", Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told the UN Security Council.

His attempt to bring humanitarian aid to Venezuelans suffering from food and medicine shortages was prevented by the army on the Colombian and Brazilian borders last month.

After imposing a new round of sanctions, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the US would continue to target the supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with sanctions.

Once unknown, the 35-year-old has now gained the support of many Venezuelans and 65 foreign countries, including the U.S., Canada and U.K. He returned to Venezuela Monday after a trip overseas to rally support from the global community.

He has accused the opposition of trying to organise a coup with United States help.

"What is happening in Venezuela is affecting all the region", Alejandra Escobar, 38, said.

Guaido met with union leaders to discuss possible strikes for state workers, stressing the disconnect between the embattled government and struggling Venezuelans: "Maduro's government officials are drowning in contradictions".

National Security Advisor John Bolton said the USA also is putting foreign financial institutions on notice that they will face sanctions if they facilitate "illegitimate transactions that benefit Nicolas Maduro and his corrupt network".

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"In every democratic transition in Latin America there are negotiations, but I just would say it is extremely hard to see how he could play a positive role in a democratic election, " Abrams said.

"We haven't done that yet, secondary sanctions, it's clearly a possibility", Abrams said on Tuesday. Abrams reportedly called on "Maurer" to block the Venezuelan government's assets in a nonexistent Swiss bank that the prank callers mentioned.

The United States has already imposed sanctions on Venezuela's vital oil sector and announced asset freezes and travel bans targeting top government officials.

"The public administration is practically paralyzed". Just a day after arriving back in Caracas to a hero's welcome, the self-proclaimed interim president vowed to step up pressure, calling again for Maduro to step down. He urged state workers to prepare for a strike, though no date was given and he said an immediate priority will be to promote a law guaranteeing rights for public workers. There was no investment and tens of thousands of employees had abandoned their positions in recent years, they said.

He paid visits to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina after he proceeded to Colombia.

Guaido's return marks the latest challenge to Maduro's authority since the young challenger declared himself acting president on January 23, vowing to set up a transitional government and hold new elections.

Guaido had secretly left Venezuela for Colombia, in violation of a Supreme Court order, to coordinate efforts there on February 23 to send aid into Venezuela. Maduro retains control of state institutions and the loyalty of senior figures in the armed forces.

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