Mexico foreign minister says not defending Venezuela's Maduro

Mr. Guaido is in a leadership showdown with socialist President Nicolas Maduro, whose regime has been accused of crimes against humanity, including ordering the military to commit extrajudicial killings and use excessive force against protesters.

"This is a pivotal moment for the people of Venezuela - we are observing a widespread rejection of the Maduro regime's illegitimate claim to power following fraudulent elections last May", he said.

Earlier this month, Wood Mackenzie analyst Ann-Louise Hittle warned that Venezuela's crude oil production could fall below 1 million bpd after the United States imposed new sanctions on struggling oil firm PDVSA.

"We need more and more pressure on the top of the army corps, and in the top of the political dictatorship", Viera-Blanco said. "We have no doubt that the imperialism governs the Venezuelan right wing".

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Donald Trump reaffirmed USA support for Guaido, saying "we stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom".

Tacitly acknowledging that it has no real power, the congress extended a 30-day constitutional timeline for replacing the president, saying it is critical to first fill other key branches, like the government-stacked elections commission.

Bulgaria has joined the majority of European Union countries in recognising Juan Guaidó as interim President of Venezuela.

Maduro, too, has worldwide backing, while holding practical control over the crisis-wracked nation's institutions, including the military.

Maduro is facing calls from a growing chorus of nations, including some of Venezuela's neighbors, to resign in the wake of last year's disputed presidential vote in which he won re-election. "I'm pleased to inform the Venezuelan people that this transaction has until now been halted, protecting the resources of all Venezuelans", Paparoni said.

"The United States-Brazil alliance is stronger than ever", Bolton tweeted. Mr Guaido has also asked the Argentine pontiff to intervene. He added, "We'll see what can be done".

When the publication asked Guterres about the possibility of a military intervention, his stance was clear; "I hope that does not happen", he said. Maduro told Italian broadcaster Sky TG24 on Monday that he had sent the letter to the pope "for help in the process of facilitating and reinforcing dialogue".

The situation deteriorated when Guaidó declared himself interim president and was recognized by a number of countries around the world including the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.

Monday's declaration came after Guaido made a larger-than-life appeal to Canada and its Western Hemisphere partners to end the "usurpation" of democracy in his country.

Russia, China, Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Mexico, North Korea, Turkey and Uruguay continue to back Maduro as leader.