The United States has pledge US$20 million in humanitarian aid to Venezeula, as it seeks to ensure that Venezuelan oil revenue goes to opposition leader Juan Guaido, who swore himself in as interim president, and to cut off money from the increasingly isolated President Nicolas Maduro.
The announcement signals that Washington is willing to go beyond traditional diplomatic measures and will seek to drain cash from Maduro's government which is already struggling under an unprecedented economic meltdown.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has cut off diplomatic relations with the United States, the biggest importer of Venezuelan oil, and said American diplomats had 72 hours to leave the country.
"Before the people and nations of the world, and as constitutional president. .... I've decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist U.S. government," Maduro told a crowd of red-shirted supporters gathered at the presidential palace.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president.
Guaido swore himself in as president on Wednesday.
Trump described hard-left President Nicolas Maduro as "illegitimate" and said the National Assembly, headed by Guaido, is "the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people."
Trump's support for Guaido came shortly after the opposition leader declared himself "acting president" during a mass demonstration against Maduro.
Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro's inauguration for a second term today in Caracas has left a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the country as the United States denounced his re-election along with
other countries as fraudulent.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompano issued a statement denouncing Maduro and his inauguration.
"The United States condemns Maduro’s illegitimate usurpation of power today following the unfree and unfair elections he imposed on the Venezuelan people on May 20, 2018," Pompano stated.
Police have held 12 Venezuelan nationals during an anti-crime exercise.
A statement from the Police Service said the illegal immigrants were arrested during an anti-crime exercise conducted by officers of the Central Division, in the Cunupia district.
Police said during the exercise, the officers went to a house on Welcome Road, Cunupia, where they found 12 Venezuelans, who were suspected of being in the country illegally.