Venezuela Crisis: Delegates from over 50 countries meet in Lima
To the latest on Venezuela, Representatives from more than 50 countries have met in the Peruvian capital of Lima on Tuesday seeking a solution to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. It came after Washington's embargo on all Venezuelan government entities and individuals. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called this move an act of 'economic terrorism'. Here is more from Dan Collyns in Lima and Mary Triny Mena in Caracas.
The United States took the initiative early on at this international conference to argue its case for sweeping actions against Venezuela's leader Nicolas Maduro. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton warned countries and companies to think carefully before doing business with Maduro's government.
JOHN BOLTON US NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR "If you support the Maduro regime through commercial transactions, through any kind of activity that provides it material support, you too are subject to sanctions and that's why it's that's something that would inhibit your ability to do business in the United States."
His words follow U.S. President Donald Trump's signing of an executive order on Monday which freezes Venezuelan government assets in the U.S.. But some analysts say the measures will only worsen the already serious humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
FARID KAHHAT, PROFESSOR OF INTL. RELATIONS PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF PERU "The sanctions have made a terrible situation even worse, and my guess was that the sanctions would be part of a strategy would lead to a sudden collapse of the regime which hasn't happened yet. The worse it would be for the Venezuelan people."
DAN COLLYNS LIMA "Most of the 50-plus countries at the conference support Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela. But it's not clear if they support the stance of the United States. Guaido's European backers believe a negotiated solution is possible, but the U.S. says the time for talking is over.
A spokesman for Juan Guaido said the U.S. pressure was working.
JULIO BORGES SPOKESMAN FOR JUAN GUAIDO "It's the pressure which has made Maduro look for any kind of negotiation. It's the pressure which has meant they are talking about elections in Venezuela."
Maduro's administration has slammed the U.S. decision to freeze all its government assets calling it 'economic terrorism' and a 'grave aggression'.
The Venezuelan government has slammed Washington, accusing President Trump of attempting a regime change.
JORGE ARREAZA VENEZUELAN FOREIGN MINISTER "We know that this is all because of petrol, we all know that this is because of Venezuela's riches. Mr. Donald Trump, concentrate on your election campaign. The United States is trying to make Venezuela its territory for its geopolitical war against Russia and China."
MARY TRINY MENA CARACAS "Trump's full economic embargo was welcomed by the opposition, saying it will protect the Venezuelan people while targeting officials. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the U.S. is trying to interfere with the dialogue initiated by the government with the opposition. He also insists the Venezuelan government is focused on a peaceful resolution to the current crisis. The embargo comes at a time of uncertainty for Venezuela which has been dealing with economic collapse, which the government blames on U.S. sanctions. Mary Triny Mena, CGTN, Caracas."