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Venezuelans rally to protest chronic power outages

Venezuelans rally to protest chronic power outages”

The United States has instructed oil trading houses and refiners around the world to further cut dealings with Venezuela or face sanctions themselves, even if the trades are not prohibited by published USA sanctions, three sources familiar with the matter said.

He said Maduro is trying to rally support from his diminishing allies in the Venezuelan military by boasting about his global support from Russian Federation.

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this week said "Russia has to get out" of Venezuela and said "all options" were open to force Russia to do so after two Russian air force planes carrying almost 100 military personnel landed outside Caracas.

Russia's weekend deployment of troops and equipment to bolster President Nicolas Maduro has ratcheted up already high global tensions over Venezuela where the Trump administration is pushing for regime change.

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry as well as individuals linked to Maduro in an attempt to force him from power, and it now leads many countries in supporting Guaido's claim that Maduro's re-election past year was rigged.

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"I would just say that we have options and that I think it would be a mistake for the Russians to think they have a free hand here", Elliott Abrams told reporters Friday at the State Department.

The United States and more than 50 other countries recognise Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.

He said the blackouts were caused by "terrorist attacks" on the Guri hydroelectric dam that powers much of the country.

The outages have left hospitals without power, worsened the already precarious supply of drinking water and left many stores without functioning point-of-sale terminals - which are crucial in the hyperinflationary economy where cash is in short supply.

In Washington, the USA envoy for Venezuela welcomed the latest aid distribution plan.

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Saturday's rallies came a day after the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it is poised to deliver aid to Venezuela next month.

Nevertheless, Russia will make efforts to facilitate a dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, Zakharova added.

When asked by Rep. Salud Carbajal whether the White House intends to use the US military to resolve the situation in Venezuela, Shanahan told the California Democrat, "That's not my understanding".

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