Venezuela crisis exposes new fault line in US-Russia rivalry

Saab also requested a travel ban which would prevent Guaidó from leaving the country.

Dozens of nations, including most countries in the Western Hemisphere, have recognized Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela and no longer conduct relations with the country through Maduro.

Maduro accused the USA media of waging a "brutal campaign of false images" to support the Trump administration's interference in Venezuela.

Maduro has said such assistance would be the first step toward a U.S. military intervention.

The United States, the European Union and many Latin American countries joined the opposition in dismissing the legitimacy of presidential elections Maduro won in May.

Maduro has repeatedly accused Bogota of plotting to overthrow him.

"Maduro willing to negotiate with opposition in Venezuela following us sanctions and the cutting off of oil revenues", Trump posted on his Twitter page.

Regarding the widespread food shortages and near-total lack of medicine in the country, Maduro told Americans that "problems arise [in Venezuela] every day like they do anywhere else".

"If the USA intends to intervene against us they will get a Vietnam worse than they could have imagined".

In an interview with Russia's RIA Novosti news agency that aired on Wednesday, Maduro said he has sent letters to the governments of Bolivia, Mexico, Russia and Uruguay to involve them in a new process of dialogue with the opposition.

Russian Federation has been one of Maduro's staunchest supporters, providing the South American country with loans and weapons.

Maduro also accused the USA president of ordering a hit on him from Colombia.

Venezuela's Supreme Court has barred opposition leader Juan Guaido from leaving the country as global pressure mounts against the government led by President Nicolas Maduro.

Mr Saab is a key Maduro ally and the high court is stacked with Maduro loyalists.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton warned American businesses not to "deal in gold, oil, or other Venezuelan commodities being stolen from the Venezuelan people by the Maduro mafia".

Global support: Guaido's move has received backing across the globe.

"Even though even our directors say it is not necessary, we know what it is like to see patients die due to lack of supplies", she was quoted as saying.

He has received backing from the USA and several major countries but it is the support of the military that he needs most to drive Maduro out of power.

The fight to control Venezuela, which has the world's largest oil reserves, has intensified with new USA sanctions and legal moves that may bring the arrest of opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido.

"While the general belief is that Canadian heavy barrels should benefit with the demise of Venezuela, the notional degree of market share up for grabs for Canada is not as large as for competing countries", they said.

Violent street demonstrations erupted last week when Guaido, during a massive opposition rally in Caracas, declared he had assumed presidential powers and planned to hold fresh elections, ending Maduro's "dictatorship". The opposition argues Maduro's re-election last May was a sham.

  • Wendy Palmer