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Uruguay, Mexico to convene international conference over Venezuelan crisis


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Uruguay and Mexico will convene an international conference over the Venezuelan political crisis, a statement from Uruguay's Foreign Ministry confirmed.
The conference will be held in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo on February 7, Sputnik reported.
"The governments of Uruguay and Mexico have decided to organize an international conference with the participation of countries and international organizations that share their position (on the Venezuelan crisis)," the statement read.
So far, ten countries have confirmed participation in the conference.
"The goal of the conference is to lay the groundwork for the creation of a new dialogue mechanism, with the inclusion of all Venezuelan (political) forces that would contribute to the return of stability and peace in the country," the statement added.
Earlier today, US special envoy for Venezuela Elliot Abrams issued a warning for Venezuela against any action against the country's self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido. His comments came after National Security Adviser John Bolton had recently warned that any "violence and intimidation" against Guaido and US diplomats will be met with a "significant response".
The Venezuelan Supreme Court on Tuesday announced its intent on conducting an investigation into Guaido's activities and imposed a travel ban on the latter. Venezuelan prosecutor General Tarek Saab had earlier appealed to the court for the same.
The situation in Venezuela, which has been struggling to overcome a political crisis amid the opposition's refusal to recognize last year's re-election of Maduro, significantly escalated on January 22 when the opposition-controlled National Assembly declared the president a usurper. The very next day, National Assembly Speaker Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president.
While dozens of countries, including the US and some of its allies, have recognized Guaido as the acting Venezuelan president, Russia has reaffirmed its support for Maduro as the legitimately elected head of state.
Mass anti-government protests broke out in Venezuela on January 21, following which Guaido declared himself interim President on January 23.
The UN human rights office stated that security forces in Venezuela apprehended over 700 people in a single day of the protests last week, which was the highest tally in the country for the past 20 years.
Over 40 people were reportedly killed during the violence during those protests.

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 3:40 AM IST

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