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U.S. calls on Venezuela's Maduro to step down amid clashes

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 30, 2019 - Duration: 01:25s

U.S. calls on Venezuela's Maduro to step down amid clashes

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said Washington would support anti-government protesters in Venezuela, and called for a "peaceful transfer of power" from Socialist President Nicolas Maduro to opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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U.S. calls on Venezuela's Maduro to step down amid clashes

Anti-government protesters clashed with police in Caracas.

And in Washington, the White House threw its support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido's call to overthrow the Socialist government of President Nicholas Maduro.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JOHN BOLTON, SAYING: "This is an act of bravery by Guaido and others, really for the freedom of the Venezuelan people." U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton on Tuesday called for a peaceful transfer of power from Maduro to Guaido.

Bolton said American aid to the protesters would be overt, and possibly covert.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JOHN BOLTON, SAYING: "We have done everything we can to get humanitarian assistance into the country.

We're doing a lot of other things, some of which I'm not going to talk about." And he included this warning: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JOHN BOLTON, SAYING: "All options are on the table.

Maduro has called opposition leader Guido a puppet of Washington.

And on Tuesday Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza blamed the U.S. for the violence, calling it an attempted coup backed by White House.

The sides clashing in Caracas have drawn support from opposite ends of the globe.

Russia's foreign minister accused the opposition of "resorting to violence." A spokesperson for U.N.

Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez said he was monitoring the situation with concern.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) STEPHANE DUJARRIC, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL, SAYING: "The secretary-general urges all sides to exercise maximum restraint and he appeals to all stakeholders to avoid any violence and take immediate steps to restore calm." Guaido said he had begun the “final phase” of his campaign to topple Maduro.

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