Russian aircraft arriving in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, have fuelled US claims that the country’s President Nicolas Maduro is planning to spirit billions of dollars worth of gold and other assets out of the country as he stares down a US-backed challenge to his leadership.
A standoff with the opposition figure Juan Guaido, has lasted almost a month and has been marked by huge opposition demonstrations.
Critics of Mr Maduro say he jailed opposition figures and stuffed ballot boxes to remain in power but with the United States as its most immediate great power neighbour, Venezuelan, and indeed Latin American politics generally, is more murky than that.
Dr Ralph Newmark joins PM and is the director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at La Trobe University.
Duration: 9min 3sec
Broadcast: Thu 31 Jan 2019, 6:43pm