West may have funded protests targeting Venezuelan embassies, Russian diplomat says

West may have funded protests targeting Venezuelan embassies, Russian diplomat says

At the same time, the Russian ambassador noted that such a stance of most Latin American states would not deteriorate the situation in Venezuela.

Juan Guaido, a lawmaker from the hard-line Popular Will opposition party who was elected to head the National Assembly on January 5, said he would only take office with support of the armed forces.

"The United States government will continue to use the full weight of USA economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela", he said.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that it stood behind the head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, Juan Guaido, who said on Friday that he was prepared to step into the presidency temporarily to replace Maduro.

The two statements were only the latest in a series of Trump administration's attacks on Maduro, whose inauguration to a disputed second term as president took place on Thursday.

It would apply to officers who "do not obey the orders of the man who has usurped the Presidency of the Republic. and collaborate with the tradition and re-establishment of constitutional order", the draft says. On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the opposition leader to reaffirm U.S. support for the Venezuelan National Assembly as the "only legitimate institution" that can "re-establish" democracy in the country. The West may have funded protests targeting Venezuela's embassies in various countries, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Friday.

In the meantime, the worldwide community is drawing attention to the migrant crisis in surrounding countries as thousands of Venezuelans flee Maduro's' government.

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The head of the Organization of American States, Secretary-General Luis Almagro, responded quickly, sending out a tweet recognising Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

We call on all Venezuelans to uphold and respect the role of the National Assembly and for the security and armed forces to respect all protections the constitution affords to @JGuaido and the other members of the National Assembly.

Bolton reaffirmed the United States position that the May election that gave Maduro a second term was "not free, fair or credible".

The National Assembly's president Juan Guiado said the constitution gives parliament the right to assume transitional power after declaring Maduro a "usurper", but said it would need military backing and for people to take to the streets to demand change.

Furthermore, the United States the "courageous decision" of the country's National Assembly President Juan Guaidó, who, on Friday, stated he was ready to take over the president's office.

The military generally has remained firmly behind Maduro so far despite some reports of small-scale attempts at revolt.

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