United Kingdom and other European countries recognise Guaidó as Venezuela's leader

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However, as President Maduro still controls Venezuelan ports of entry, Mr Guaido has called on forces to allow the entry of the aid to the country.

Rome rejected the stronger position because it regarded it as "interference" in Venezuela's internal affairs, one diplomat said.

Last week, the UN chief met with Mexico's ambassador to the UN Juan Jose Gomez Camacho who said the Montevideo conference was to "offer a chance for dialogue to all parties involved".

While the Trump administration cuts oil payments and claims all options are on the table to force Nicolas Maduro to stage fair elections, it's also announced an aid corridor through Washington allies Brazil and Colombia.

Maduro has been called on to resign and let the country hold a new presidential election as his government has sidelined the National Assembly, held widely questioned elections, and overseen an economic crisis that has forced millions of Venezuelans to flee, mostly to other South American countries. In a statement, it accused them of submitting to a USA "strategy to overthrow the legitimate government" and singled out Spain for acting "cowardly".

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Guaido issued the call in a surprise appearance via video link to the gathering of Lima Group members and several other partners, including the United States and European countries.

Italy, however, blocked a joint European Union position to recognize Guaido, diplomatic sources said, with the government in Rome deeply divided over the issue. We have to remember that Russian Federation has invested a lot of money in Venezuela; as has China, especially in the oil exploration domain and it also has strategic ties with Venezuela, in terms of military co-operation, and at the moment Russian Federation is assisting Venezuela in reforming its economy.

The United States is sending food and medical supplies to Colombia's border with Venezuela where it will be stockpiled until it can be delivered to the economically shattered nation, US officials with knowledge of the plan said today.

Peruvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nestor Francisco Popolizio Bardales (L), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (C) and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland applaud after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Gauido made a statement via video to the 10th Lima Group in Ottawa, Ontario, February 4, 2019. The U.S. was among the first major powers to recognize Guaido last week.

Opposition lawmaker Miguel Pizarro told reporters in Caracas on Tuesday that Guaido's team would talk about how the aid would move once it was in place. Uruguay's central bank and the office of the country's president did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Russia, China, Iran, Nicaragua, Cuba and Turkey, among others, back Maduro as Venezuela's legitimate president.

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