February 13, 2019 / 9:29 PM / 6 months ago

Guaido's U.S. team has capacity to use Venezuelan embassy bank accounts: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s representatives in the United States have the “capacity” to use bank accounts belonging to the country’s Washington embassy, but do not plan to do so for now, a member of Guaido’s diplomatic team said on Wednesday.

“We’ve been made aware of the accounts,” said the team member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We have the capacity, the capability, to sovereignly act upon them, but our approach is to be incredibly conservative given all the circumstances.”

Congress head Guaido, who swore himself in as president last month and argues that President Nicolas Maduro’s mandate is illegitimate, has appointed his own ambassador to the United States. Maduro announced plans to break off diplomatic relations with the United States in response to its recognition of Guaido.

The team member said using any funds in the accounts was “not necessarily off the table” but noted that there had not been a budget process approved by Venezuela’s congress, which would normally be needed to make use of “outside resources.”

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Luc Cohen, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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