Venezuela's self-proclaimed president Guiado speaks with Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump voiced support for Venezuela's self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido during a telephone call Wednesday.

National security adviser John Bolton warns of "serious consequences" for those who attempt to "subvert democracy and harm Guaido"; State Department correspondent Rich Edson reports. Maduro has sought to neutralise Guaido by ordering him not to leave the country and freezing his assets.

Venezuela plunged further into turmoil last week after the United States recognised Guaido, 35, as acting president, while Russian Federation, which has lent Caracas an estimated $17 billion since 2006, continued to back Maduro.

Doctors in scrubs, businessmen in suits and construction workers in jeans gathered on the streets of Venezuela's capital Wednesday, waving their nation's flag and demanding Nicolas Maduro step down from power in a walkout organized by the nation's reinvigorated opposition to ratchet up pressure on the embattled president. When asked about a possible military option in Venezuela, Guaido said all options were on the table, CNN said.

Guaido and the opposition-dominated National Assembly he heads have branded Maduro a "usurper" over his re-election last May in a poll boycotted by his opponents protesting the detention, exile and barring of many of their leaders.

"I want to send a message to the people of the United States to alert them of the campaign, the media, communications, and psychological war developing in worldwide media and particularly the communications platforms in the United States against Venezuela", Maduro said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders tweeted a link to Guaido's op-ed along with the message: "America stands with the people of Venezuela". "If something happens to me one day then Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will be responsible for everything that is happening to me", he told a local television channel. Cuba's late president Fidel Castro traded favors and sustained a long friendship with the late socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. He says Maduro fraudulently won elections a year ago and is offering an amnesty to military officials.

Meanwhile, Abrams said, the United States and other countries opposed to Maduro are scouring the world looking for assets that can be seized under U.S. sanctions announced this week. The United States has recognized Guaido as the country's interim leader.

Bolton, while announcing a new round of sanctions against Venezuela and its state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) at a press conference Monday, carried a notepad under his arm with the words scribbled on the top of a largely blank page. "We are on the right side of history".

Maduro has been in charge since 2013 but his re-election in May was branded illegitimate by the European Union, the US, and Organization of American States.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin shared the view of the Venezuelan government that the sanctions were "illegal" and a tool of unfair competition on the part of the United States. "Americans should not travel until further notice, according to Venezuela", said Trump on Twitter.

Another mass opposition street demonstration is planned for Saturday, alongside a parallel pro-regime march.

  • Anthony Vega