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Venezuela's opposition supporters rallied nationwide on Tuesday to keep the heat on embattled President Nicolas Maduro and to demand he allow humanitarian aid into the country where food and medicine shortages are rife.

Envoys for Venezuela's self-declared caretaker leader Juan Guaido met Vatican officials and lobbied the Italian government for support on Monday in their quest to keep global pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro. A Venezuelan opposition envoy has also said Brazil's government would try to get humanitarian aid to the border.

Guaido says 300,000 people risk death if the supplies donated by the United States and others, stockpiled at Venezuela's border with Colombia, are not brought in soon.

Food and aid supply have been weaponised as Mr Maduro has tried to maintain his tenuous hold on power during a crisis in which three quarters of Venezuelans have lost an average of 8.6 kilograms.

Amid voter boycotts, Maduro critics argued many Venezuelans feared not voting for Mr Maduro would lead to the loss of government aid.

He addressed members of the military still loyal to Maduro, and said it's up to them to restore their image with their citizens.

Guterres met with Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in NY, at the request of Caracas, as the standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido hardened.

The self-declared interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaido on Monday pointed to the Armed Forces as the factor supporting "dictator" Nicolas Maduro but added that a vast majority of "military families" are dissatisfied.

The militia is a civilian force founded in 2008 to supplement the armed forces.

The election of a new president "on a credible, legitimate basis" would give Venezuelans hope of a better future, Steinmeier said late Monday.

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Juan Guaidó is touring Venezuela this week, meeting with journalists and citizens.

"Why do we protect the assets of Venezuela?"

"They are warmongering in order to take over Venezuela", he told BBC.

"We want everything to go as quickly as possible, but holding elections in a month is impossible".

"What do we lack today after 20 years of work, sacrifice, to build a majority?"

Amoroso alleged Guaido has "received money from global entities without any type of justification".

"We are politically defining the steps and they are responding to what we put forth", Arellano said. Many people fear the opposition will run out of steam, that it will not be able to keep up the pressure on the streets or that the worldwide community will soon turn to another trouble spot if it sees no development in Venezuela.

But Guaido on Sunday reiterated that he would not negotiate with Maduro - as he believes Maduro would use such talks to buy himself time.

Maduro is refusing to step down or call for a new election, accusing the US of orchestrating a coup attempt.

Accusing those blocking aid of being "almost genocidal", he likewise warned that the military would be held responsible for the deaths of protesters - and reaffirmed his call for a mass march on Tuesday in memory of the estimated 40 people killed in disturbances since January 21.


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