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Venezuela’s Guaido: ‘We will do what is necessary’

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Opposition leader Juan Guaido is challenging President Nicolas Maduro for control of crisis-hit Venezuela, a country plagued by hyperinflation, shortages of basic necessities and rampant violence.

Guaido has declared himself interim president and has been recognized as such by dozens of countries, but Maduro, buoyed by support from the armed forces, has declined to step aside.

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In an interview with AFP, Guaido discusses the entry of foreign aid, contact with the military and whether he would be willing to allow the highly-controversial step of foreign military intervention.

– Foreign military intervention –

-Question: Would you use your prerogatives as speaker of the National Assembly and acting president to authorize the intervention of foreign military forces?

“We will do everything possible, once again, this is obviously a very, very controversial subject, but making use of our sovereignty and, within our jurisdictions, we will do what is necessary.”

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– Entry of foreign aid –

-Question: How is the entry of humanitarian aid advancing?

“When we have sufficient supplies, we are going to make a first entry attempt. We know that there is a blockade in Tienditas (on the border with Colombia).”

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“The armed forces have a huge dilemma, whether or not to accept the aid. It would be almost miserable at this point of huge necessity not to accept it.”

-Question: When will the first attempt be?

“I think it’s going to be next week, when we have formed the corps of volunteers and organized the distribution process.”

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– Contact with the military –

-Question: Why do you think the offer of amnesty for members of the military has not yet produced a massive defection from high command?

“We have to go deeper into that, we saw a division general speak openly a few days ago, we saw some sergeants of the National Guard show discontent and they are being tortured.”

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“Part of what we have to overcome is explaining very well that (the armed forces) have a role in the reconstruction.”

– Russia and China-

-Question: Have you had contact with officials from Russia and China (which are allies of Maduro)?

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“I am sure that Moscow and Beijing know the situation in Venezuela really well: Maduro doesn’t have the popular support and he can’t stabilize the economy, which produced the world’s largest inflation of two million percent.”

– Negotiated solution –

-Question: Would you receive emissaries of the International Contact Group seeking a negotiated solution?

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“We are ready to talk with everyone, with a very specific agenda.”

– Pope’s position –

-Question: Does the position of Pope Francis seem lukewarm?

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“He did not receive anyone from the government, he does not even take them into account anymore.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s tumbling support among ‘the poorly educated’ may crush his 2020 prospects: report

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When Donald Trump famously declared, “I love the poorly educated” during his 2016 campaign, it was obvious that he was taking a much more populist (or rather, pseudo-populist) approach than Republican presidential candidates were typically known for. And white males without college degrees continue to be a key part of the president’s base. But Washington Post columnist Aaron Blake, analyzing an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday, stresses that when Trump is up against a “generic 2020 Democrat,” he finds himself struggling with non-college educated white women.

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Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Republican donors any recession will be ‘moderate and short’

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President Donald Trump has spent the last week claiming that any talk of a recession is a conspiracy theory by the media and part of a leftist coup against him.

The message didn't seem to get to his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who told Republican donors this week that the recession will be a quick one.

Politico reported the comments Tuesday, saying that it was part of a Jackson, Wyoming fundraiser with White House aides Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who are supposed to be "camping" with their family, according to her Instagram channel.

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Former Defense Secretary warns: ISIS is back, and Trump can’t ‘pretend it’s not there’

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Defense Secretary and CIA head Leon Panetta warned that ISIS is gaining strength in the Middle East again — and that after all of President Donald Trump's boasts that he had utterly defeated the terrorist organization, now it is time for him to get serious.

"Roughly estimated 15,000 ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria now," said host Kate Bolduan. "Secretary Pompeo saying the terror group is, in some ways, stronger than it was three or four years ago. How big of a concern should the news be for Americans?"

"It should be a very serious concern for the president of the United States and for our country," said Panetta. "Because his first responsibility is to protect our country. And we learned from 9/11, the fact that these terrorists have one fundamental aim, which is to attack the United States and attack countries in the West. And now what we're hearing is that ISIS is clearly re-mobilizing to the tune of almost is 15,000-18,000, that are mobilizing into secret cells, mobilizing into attack teams, conducting not only attacks but kidnappings and assassinations and bombings, as we saw in Afghanistan. So this is, in the end, a national security threat that the United States cannot simply stand back and pretend it's not there."

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