The United Nations called on all parties in Venezuela to avoid violence Tuesday as opposition leader and self-declared ruler Juan Guaido said he had the support of the military to oust president Nicolas Maduro.
“The Secretary-General urges all sides to exercise maximum restraint and he appeals to all stakeholders to avoid any violence and take immediate steps to restore calm,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters, adding that the Secretary General Antonio Guterres was in contact with both sides.
The U.S. government, which has been supporting Guaido and is one of many countries pressuring longtime President Nicolas Maduro to step down, expressed full support for the “Venezuelan people”.
President Donald Trump said he is monitoring the situation in the country “very closely.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "Today interim President Juan Guaido announced start of Operación Libertad. The U.S. Government fully supports the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy. Democracy cannot be defeated. #EstamosUnidosVE."
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro expressed his support for Guaido and the Venezuelan people "enslaved by a dictator" in a series of tweets Tuesday.
"Brazil is on the side of the people of Venezuela, President Juan Guaido and the freedom of Venezuelans," Bolsonaro wrote.
Despite widespread food and medical shortages and a failing economy in Venezuela, the socialist Maduro regime has clung to power with the support of most of the country's military. Venezuela's two biggest creditors, Russia and China, also have continued to support Maduro.
Russia urged talks between the conflicting sides Tuesday, but accused Guaido of "fueling violence" in the region.
"The radical opposition in Venezuela has once again turned to heavy-handed methods of confrontation," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
The Turkish government said opposition calls for an uprising against Maduro threaten the constitutional order.[videobottom id="730"]