Venezuela's Maduro cuts ties with US amid protests

Thu 24 Jan 2019 05:33 GMT | 09:33 Local Time

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President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela announced his country cut all relations with the U.S. after Washington recognized opposition-controlled National Assembly's President Juan Guaido as interim president, Anadolu Agency reports.

Maduro made the announcement while speaking to his supporters who gathered in the Presidential Palace in the capital of Caracas to show support against demonstrations.

"I have decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist government of the United States," Maduro said and gave 72 hours for diplomats to leave the country.

Maduro stressed the U.S. is an "unreliable" country that has “no fiends", adding it’s only interest is to take Venezuela’s oil, gas and gold.

He said the country is in a historic battle so no one should lower their guard.

Later, on his Twitter account, Maduro called on his country to stay alert and mobilize to defend stability of the nation.

"Neither coup, nor interventionism, Venezuela wants peace!" he tweeted.

"I ask from the military maximum loyalty, maximum unity, maximum discipline, with this fight we will win too. Always loyal, traitors never," he added. 

Maduro also asked for "calm and sanity" but "maximum and permanent mobilization", before what he described as an attempted coup after Guaido declared himself as interim president. 

U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido as the interim president of the country, marking the most significant escalation in the ongoing feud between Washington and Maduro.

Brazil and the Organization of American States recognized Guaido as Venezuela's leader prior to his formal announcement. Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and Paraguay have followed suit while Bolivia and Mexico continue to recognize Maduro.

"I would like to extend my support to Juan Guaido whom I recognize as the interim president of state," said Mauricio Macri, said Argentinian President Mauricio Macri.

"Argentina will fully support the re-establishment of democracy and increasing of the living conditions in Venezuela," he added.

Colombian President Ivan Duque, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, said: "Colombia recognizes Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela and supports the democratic transition in order to free the Venezuelan people from the dictatorship."




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