1. ITV Report

Woman living on £5 a month describes hardships in Venezuela under President Nicolas Maduro

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers

A woman living on £5 a month has told ITV News about the hardship she faces under Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.

Fany Palma was one among hundreds staging a walkout in Caracas on Wednesday in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself president.

She told ITV News: "I am 55-years-old and I have never depended on anyone to give me food or handouts."

Pointing to the food in a medium-sized cardboard box, she said: "All I have is the food in this box to get to the end of the month."

Recalling life before Maduro took power, she added: "We were always able to get meat or anything else we needed."

Fany Palma only has the food in this box to last her till the end of the month.

In a bid to stave off an uprising Mr Maduro told Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency he was "willing to sit down for talks with the opposition for the sake of Venezuela's peace and its future".

His comments came as world leaders, led by US President Donald Trump, voiced support for Mr Guaido.

Addressing America directly Mr Maduro said in a video shot at the presidential palace: "We won't allow a Vietnam in Latin America."

"If the aim of the United States is to invade, they'll have a Vietnam worse than can be imagined."

In a show of power Mr Maduro started the day with a visit to troops in pictures broadcast on state TV.

President Nicolas Maduro addressed the US directly in a video shot at the presidential palace. Credit: PA

Over the weekend supporters of his rival Mr Guaido visited military barracks in the hopes of winning their backing.

On Wednesday Guaido remained hopeful and said: "Venezuela is set on change."

The Trump administration's support of Mr Guaido has come in the form of imposed sanctions that could starve the distressed nation of billions in oil revenue.

Mr Maduro hit back by accusing Washington of staging a coup and the US president of ordering a hit on him from Colombia.

He said he was aware of Mr Trump's "orders" for the Colombian government and the local mafia to kill him.

Fany Palma protesting on the streets of Caracas.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court barred Mr Guaido from leaving the country after chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab announced that he was opening a criminal investigation of Mr Maduro's foe, who heads the opposition-controlled congress.

Mr Saab is a key Maduro ally and the high court is stacked with Maduro loyalists.

The court move came after US national security adviser John Bolton warned that the Maduro government would face "serious consequences" if Mr Guaido is harmed.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido takes part in a walkout against President Nicolas Maduro Credit: AP

Mr Guaido has thus far managed to avoid arrest and the Supreme Court did not strip him of his legislative immunity, though the new investigation could signal that Mr Maduro's administration is moving to take a more punitive approach.

The political unrest felt across Venezuela has been ongoing for a week as the struggle for power continues.