Venezuela Update: 25 January, 2019 5:00 PM Eastern Time

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On Friday Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido rejected Nicolas Maduro’s offer of talks, labeling them as “fake dialogue.” Today Maduro also appealed to President Trump and said he is ready to talk, without specifying what subjects he is prepared to discuss.

 

20 people were allegedly killed at the hands of Venezuelan security forces, and pro-government armed groups in protests held on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to UN human rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet. The commissioner cited reliable sources when providing the number, although there has been no independent confirmation.

 

Maduro is closing the Venezuelan embassy, and consulates in the United States. With diplomatic relations now broken, US diplomats are to leave from Venezuela by the weekend. The departures have already started and are expected to be fully complete by Saturday morning.

 

The US has asked for a Saturday morning meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Venezuelan situation.

 

International reaction is falling along the expected political, and ideological lines. The United States firmly backs the opposition and recognizes Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela. Most other Western Hemisphere nation-states are following the US lead, and so is Great Britain. The European Union, and many European nations are voicing support for Guaido’s opposition, but thus far have not officially recognized him as being Venezuela’s leader.

 

Not all Western Hemisphere nations back Guaido, however. Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Cuba have been steadfastly standing behind Maduro. Again, it comes down to political and ideological commonality. All three nations are leftist states. Mexico is staying on the sidelines despite past statements of support for the Maduro government by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

 

Outside of the Western Hemisphere, Russia, China, Syria, and Turkey are Maduro’s major backers.

 

Author’s Notes: We’ll continue keeping close tabs on Venezuela in the coming days. Barring any major events unfolding there or elsewhere, the next article published on Today’s Dirt will be the next entry on the US-Russia Military Balance in Europe. Enjoy your weekend!

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