Venezuela: Opposition leader Guaido to meet US vice president today; asks allies to topple Maduro
Caracas, Feb 25: Venezuela's Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself as the country's interim president in January to defy incumbent president Nicolas Maduro, will meet US Vice President Mike Pence in Bogota, the capital of neighbouring Colombia, on Monday, February 25.
Clashes took place at the border between the two countries over the Venezuelan security forces' blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country, resulting in the death of at least four persons.
Guaido, 35, who is backed by several countries besides the US, has appealed to the international community supporting him to consider "all options" to free Venezuela from the grips of Maduro who recently took oath for a controversial second term. The Latin American country has slumped into an extreme economic crisis under the rules of Maduro and his mentor and predecessor Hugo Chavez.
The US has also warned action against Venezuela as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Saturday, February 23, that Washington was considering "every option", including military interference.
Guaido and Pompeo have in the past asked the Maduro administration to allow the humanitarian aid to reach the people of Venezuela but the latter hasn't agreed fearing that there could be an international ploy to unseat the president through the assistance.
On Saturday, Maduro cut off diplomatic ties with Colombia after it was used as a stage for American-backed aid effort that the cornered president has vowed to prevent.
"We can't keep putting up with Colombian territory being used for attacks against Venezuela. For that reason I've decided to sever all ties with the fascist government of Colombia. All consul employees should leave within 24 hours. Out! Get out. Enough is enough," Maduro said in a rally, according to a report in NBC News.
Tension also flared up at the border area with Brazil, Venezuela's largest neighbour.