With border blocked, desperate Venezuelans ask how US aid will arrive

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He says 300,000 people could die of undernourishment and illness if the aid isn't brought in fast. He has repeatedly called on Venezuela's military, which has remained loyal to Maduro, to support a transition to democracy.

Britain, France and Spain were among 19 European Union nations to side with Guaido on Monday after Maduro ignored a deadline they had set for him to announce new presidential elections.

The Foreign Ministry said that on January 26 2019, the European Union, including Bulgaria, called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and fair presidential elections in Venezuela.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and his wife Cilia Flores wave while they walk next to soldiers during a ceremony to commemorate the 27th anniversary of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez coup attempt in Maracay, Venezuela, February 4, 2019.

Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA is looking to sell more of its oil to customers in Europe and Asia as the US sanctions are cutting off USA buyers of its crude, a senior Venezuelan oil official loyal to Nicolas Maduro told Russian news outlet Sputnik in an interview published on Wednesday.

Venezuelans of Italian origin, many arriving in the first half of the 20th century when southern Europe was in economic doldrums from the two World Wars, are a large and influential group in the South American country.

"I anticipate having perhaps a dozen locations all around Venezuela where such aid will be staged", the official said.

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Lavrov said Moscow considers the situation in Venezuela "alarming" particularly because of the recognition of Guaido as interim president by a range of countries.

In a statement, Bulgaria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it was convinced that the Venezuelan people should be given the right to determine their own future based on the principles of the democratic and the rule of law.

Guaido is an opposition lawmaker who declared himself as the "interim president" of Venezuela on January 23 in violation of the country's constitution.

The United States could attempt to seek the approval of the United Nations Security Council to deliver aid without Maduro's cooperation, but Russian Federation would likely block such a move. He was boosted on Saturday, February 2, by the defection of a top air force general.

Maduro told Italian broadcaster Sky TG24 on Monday that he had sent the letter to the pope "for help in the process of facilitating and reinforcing dialogue".

Despite repeated calls for his resignation, Maduro has refused to step down, contending that he was legally the President of Venezuela. "We have to come to buy food because we can not even get cooking oil and eggs in Venezuela". In a statement, it accused them of submitting to a US "strategy to overthrow the legitimate government" and singled out Spain for acting "cowardly".