Venezuela shifts oil ventures' accounts to Russia's Gazprombank - document, sources


The opposition leader launched a bid to oust Maduro last month, declaring himself interim president, a move recognised by the U.S. and around 50 other countries, including 20 from the European Union.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro led military exercises on Sunday, pledging to strengthen the country's anti-aircraft defensive system.

Somewhat dodging the question about when the "free and fair" elections - so craved by some foreign states and others who believe Nicholas Maduro "usurped" power amid the oppositions' boycott of last year's polls - might take place, Guaido refused to name any specific dates. "They are waiting for that", Tarre said, noting that the aid is being provided by NGOs.

PDVSA's move follows tough new USA financial sanctions imposed on January 28 and aimed at blocking leftist President Nicolas Maduro's access to the country's oil revenue.

The declaration came on the heels on a statement from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that all proceeds from sales of Venezuelan crude to U.S. refiners would be withheld unless PDVSA recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of the country, which the company has not done so far. Maduro has denounced Guaido as a USA puppet seeking to foment a coup.

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"There are people responsible for this and the regime should know it", Guaido said after attending Sunday mass with his wife and 20-month-old baby. The United States has since been joined by a majority of Western nations.

However, they were primarily intended as a show of strength against the United States, which Maduro insists is planning a military invasion of the country by secretly hiding military assets in trucks of food and medicine.

There has been no sign of the aid that is being stockpiled in Cucuta leaving the warehouse.

Brazil has not yet commented on whether aid is being gathered at any point there. "This is a crime against humanity, men of the armed forces", Juan Guaido said.

"They are going inside Venezuela and they will have food and drugs".