Venezuela's self-proclaimed 'president' Guaido isn't ruling out 'authorizing' United States intervention

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"I'm ready and willing to receive any envoy from the contact group", Maduro told a press conference on Friday at the presidential palace, though he rejected the "partisan, ideological" lens through which its members view the oil-rich nation, reports Efe news.

Maduro said that he hopes to collect 10 million signatures demanding that Washington withdraw threats of war against the people of Venezuela.

At the same time the United States has announced new sanctions on members of the Nicolas Maduro administration.

The official declined to provide details on the discussions or the level at which they are being held, and it was unclear whether such contacts could create cracks in the Venezuelan socialist leader's support from the military, which is pivotal to his grip on power.

According to reports, trucks carrying food and medicine from the USA are now parked near the Tienditas Bridge.

He has called for another street protest on Tuesday to keep up the pressure on Maduro, who is backed by China, Russia, Turkey and leftist regional allies Cuba and Bolivia. Maduro said while he disagreed with the group, he is open to negotiations.

"This is a macabre game: we squeeze them by the neck and make them ask for crumbs".

The first round of humanitarian aid provided by the United States government to Venezuela was unveiled at the Tienditas Bridge in Colombia on Friday.

Early Wednesday, a Venezuelan military boat carrying 100 tons (tonnes) of aid landed in Havana to help Cubans recovering from the wrath of a tornado.

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Guaido says the constitution allows him to assume power, set up a transitional government and hold new elections - one of his key demands that has received widespread worldwide support.

The US, EU and many Latin American countries branded it a fraud as prominent opposition leaders were unable to stand after being exiled, jailed or barred.

It would be understandable if foreign states simply call for new economic and fiscal policies in Venezuela, the end of oppression and the denial of basic human rights and even propose holding fresh elections if there are grounds for disputing the credibility and fairness of the elected president.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying's statement came in response to a question about a meeting Thursday of an "International Contact Group" led by Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez and attended by leaders of 14 countries, including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden.

Maduro, who last weekend rejected an European Union ultimatum to organise snap presidential elections, fumed: "You don't listen to the truth in Venezuela".

Philip Gunson is senior analyst for Venezuela at the International Crisis Group, and is based in Caracas.

The opposition-controlled legislature has been powerless since 2016 after it was stripped of its powers by the Supreme Court, made up of regime loyalists.

Maduro's government has accused Guaido, who has galvanized Venezuela's opposition, of attempting to stage a US-directed coup.

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