Venezuela Supreme Court says politicians who backed failed uprising will be prosecuted

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro posing with troops in a handout

The Trump administration also rightly encouraged senior Venezuelan military leaders to rise up and rid their nation of Maduro, an antidemocratic, corrupt and cruel ruler who is destroying his country.

The court, which announced the ruling in a statement, said it asked Attorney General Tarek William Saab to handle the "criminal investigation" into opposition deputies for "high treason" and "conspiracy". It is only up to the Venezuelans to decide about the future of their country and an inclusive dialogue between all political forces is needed for that.

Vice-President Mike Pence on Tuesday said the USA would "consider sanctions relief for all those who step up".

Shanahan met Tuesday with Columbian Vice President Marta Ramirez at the Pentagon, where they discussed ongoing events in Venezuela, including Maduro's military, the acting secretary said. The attempted uprising set off two days of violent clashes between security forces and protesters that left five people dead, dozens injured and more than 233 arrested.

He rejected suggestions that his opposition movement was flatlining, however.

"I think the only one who really hurts himself is Maduro".

Speaking with The Washington Post after the botched coup attempt, Guaido branded the discussions of military options in the USA "great news".

Speaking to the BBC, he said he would "evaluate all options" to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

"I told the generals and admirals yesterday: loyalty, I want an active loyalty", Maduro said in a speech to some 5,000 troops that was broadcast nationally on radio and television.

As major world powers have been drawn in, the United States has thrown its support behind Guaido, while China and Russian Federation have backed Maduro.

Yet the strongman held on, leaving the US and other countries backing Mr. Guaido to seek other options for softening Mr. Maduro's support.

The United States military says it will dispatch a military hospital ship to the Venezuelan region, the latest sign of greater USA involvement in the crisis gripping the South American country.

Foreign banks froze Venezuela's accounts and money transfers.

For now, it's offering aid and ramping up diplomatic pressure. Last week, Guaido once again failed to persuade military officials to join him against Maduro, and fewer people joined him in his rallies.

Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as the interim state leader.

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