American nations recognize Maduro opponent as interim leader

With Venezuela convulsed by crisis, Trump's hawks take dramatic turn

Vladimir Putin offers support to embattled Venezuelan president

Russia's President Vladimir Putin called Maduro and expressed his support to Venezuela's legitimate government while condemning "external interference" of the USA and its allies over "gross" violation of global law.

A day after the United States and major Latin American nations recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the acting president, Pompeo pressed his case at a special meeting of the Organization of American States. But she said the support of Canada and other Latin American countries for Guaido shows the opposition is much broader.

Britain said Nicolas Maduro was "not the legitimate leader of Venezuela" and that London would support the presidential claim made by opposition leader Juan Guaido.

China, Mexico, Cuba as well as a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, Turkey, are among the nations which have also rejected the attempted coup. "On behalf of the people of #Albania I wish Juan Guaido and the courageous Venezuelans success in getting rid of the illegitimate power that has turned their country into a hell for its own people", he wrote on Twitter.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, a key Maduro ally, dismissed efforts to install a "de-facto parallel government" as tantamount to a coup.

The Holness administration has not said whether it will order Venezuela to recall its ambassador to Kingston.

"I am extremely concerned that the situation in Venezuela may rapidly spiral out of control with catastrophic consequences", Bachelet said.

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"We think consistent with our recognition of Juan Guaido as the constitutional interim president of Venezuela that those revenues should go to the legitimate government".

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the foreign interference in Venezuela's internal affairs a serious violation of worldwide law.

Venezuela's top military brass pledged their unwavering support to Maduro, delivering vows of loyalty Thursday before rows of green-uniformed officers on state television.

VICE News was on the ground in Caracas, and spoke to Venezuelan citizens about the realities of their country.

Normally, it's pretty clear who the President of a country is.

Washington's decision to throw its weight behind Guaido, a virtual unknown in Venezuelan politics until recently, came only after it became convinced that the 35-year-old with a US education was a democratic-minded leader they could trust and work with, USA officials said.

Turkey has been refining and certifying Venezuelan gold since a year ago after Maduro switched operations from Switzerland, fearing Venezuelan gold could end up being impounded.

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The contractors' task in Venezuela was to protect Maduro from any attempt by opposition sympathisers in his own security forces to detain him, Shabayev said.

Juan Guaido has said he needs the backing of three key groups: The people, the worldwide community and the military.

Speaking later to red-shirted supporters outside the presidential palace, Maduro recited USA interventions in Latin America during the Cold War.

"I swear to assume all the powers of the presidency to secure an end to the usurpation", said Guaido, recently elected head of congress, before an exuberant crowd.

"They did not arrive in a big crowd", he said.

After years of turmoil, Venezuela's political crisis has escalated dramatically over the past few days.

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