Venezuela's Guaido calls for new anti-Maduro protests

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Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country's Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country's capital of Caracas on January 23.

Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference.

Both Mr Guaido and Mr Maduro's communications minister, Jorge Rodriguez, have said Mr Guaido has met with Maduro-aligned officials.

The second, on Saturday, will be a "big national and global rally to back the support of the European Union and the ultimatum" from Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands that they would recognize Guaido as interim president unless Maduro calls elections by February 3.

Mr Maduro, who has led the oil-rich nation since 2013 and has the support of the armed forces, has refused to stand down and rejected an worldwide ultimatum to call elections within eight days.

He says Trump responded with a joke, saying: 'Well, I'm surprised, you want to invade everybody'.

The United States, Canada and many Latin American countries which had refused to recognize Maduro's May 2018 re-election immediately endorsed Guaido as the interim president, setting up the tense showdown in crisis-torn Venezuela.

"They should withdraw this ultimatum. And those arrogant, overbearing attitudes, looking down on us, because we are "sudacas", inferior to them", he told CNN Turk.

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International Brent crude oil futures were at $60.74 a barrel at 0804 GMT, down 90 cents, or 1.46 percent.

Reuters reported last Friday that private military contractors who do secret missions for Russian Federation flew into Venezuela to beef up security for Mr Maduro. Everybody can see the security guards who protect Maduro.

Venezuela has sunk into a crushing economic crisis under Maduro's policies, with widespread food and medical shortages that have forced millions of people to starve or flee. "Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the United Nations chamber in what Russia's envoy Vassily Nebenzia denounced as an brazen "attempt to abuse the Security Council to legitimize the ongoing coup d'état in Venezuela".

Venezuela's military attache in Washington, Army Colonel Jose Luis Silva, switched his support to Guaido in a video that called on his brothers in arms to follow his lead.

"We're seeing oil prices really start to break down here", said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.

He accused Russian Federation and China of "propping up a failed regime in the hopes of recovering billions of dollars in ill-considered investments and assistance made over the years".

"Since that day we've been friends with Mr. Erdogan", he said, adding that he loves Turkish people.

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