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Russian Federation sent plane to take 20 tonnes of gold out of Venezuela?

Russian Federation sent plane to take 20 tonnes of gold out of Venezuela?

The embattled president said he will be announcing a range of measures in response to the USA sanctions within the coming hours but has provided no details. "We have a lot more faith that this government has very little time left".

Novaya Gazeta also reported the plane carried two crew teams while suggesting there was no obvious reason for the plane to fly to Venezuela as Russian tourists are officially advised not to travel there because travel packages to Venezuela from Moscow were halted years ago due to a decline in sales.

Guaido said Venezuela's constitution gave him the authority to assume the presidency on a temporary basis and call elections, alleging that Maduro took office for a second term that he won in elections widely considered illegitimate.

Abrams also said Wednesday that the United States is looking around the world for more assets of the Venezuelan government, including bank accounts and gold holdings. National Assembly president Guaido wants Maduro to step down so he can set up a transitional government ahead of new elections.

"What I asked President Putin is to maintain constant contact, provide support at the diplomatic and political levels at the United Nations and defend the truth of Venezuela internationally", he said. The sanctions announced Monday will freeze any assets the state-owned PDVSA has in the United States, and bars US firms and citizens from doing business with it.

"Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me", Maduro said, reprising a constant accusation of his and Chavez's over the years.

The Trump administration has imposed sanctions that could starve the already distressed nation of billions in oil revenue - an effort to mount pressure against the defiant Maduro. "Otherwise, we will not be buying it", he said. "If the aim of the United States is to invade, they'll have a Vietnam worse than can be imagined".

Mr Maduro accused Washington of staging a coup and pressed his case directly to the American people in a short video shot in the presidential palace.

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The US has thrown its weight behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself as Venezuela's new president.

Mr Maduro also accused the USA president of ordering a hit on him from Colombia.

The new USA special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, also attended the meeting, a White House official said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met Guaido's designated envoy to the United States on Tuesday.

Venezuela's National Assembly head and self-proclaimed "acting president" Juan Guaido (L), listens to deputy Rafael Veloz, during a session at the National Assembly in Caracas on January 29, 2019. The opposition argues Maduro's re-election last May was a sham.

"Together with other responsible members of the worldwide community, we will do everything to support President Maduro's legitimate government in upholding the Venezuelan constitution and employing methods to resolve the crisis that are within the constitutional framework", he added. "They called for dialogue".

He said the hospital has turned into just "a storeroom for cadavers".