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Maduro against the opposition

Not everyone keen to support to Venezuela's self-declared interim president

Riot police clash with anti-government demonstrators in the neighborhood of Los Mecedores, Caracas, January 21, 2019.
Riot police clash with anti-government demonstrators in the neighborhood of Los Mecedores, Caracas, January 21, 2019. Fuente: AFP

Despite many world leaders offering their support to Venezuela’s self-declared interim president Juan Guadio, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan confirmed his continued relationship to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

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In a twitter comment early this morning from the Turkish spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, he wrote “Our president called and extended Turkey’s support to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and said ‘My brother Maduro! Stand tall, we stand by you!’ He added the new hashtag #WeAreMADURO.

 

The Russian speaker of the lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin also piped in this morning on behalf of Moscow stressing it considers any move to remove Maduro from power as illegal, as quoted in Interfax news agency.

The Russian foreign minister Maria Zakharova had earlier criticized the international community for offering support to the opposition, writing in her Facebook post Wednesday evening: “The events which are currently taking place in Venezuela show clearly how the progressive international community in reality applies international law, sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of a country where it seeks a change in power”.

Interim government?

On Wednesday, the head of the opposition-led legislature, Juan Guadio, declared himself acting president to a crowd of supporters cheering him on.

In a matter of minutes, US President Donald Trump issued a statement declaring Maduro “illegitimate” and calling the National Assembly “the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people".

By the evening, a collection of other world leaders had also announced their support for Guadio, including a dozen regional players such as Brazil, Argentina and Canada.

Mexico and Cuba, however, maintained their support for Maduro.

The European Union did not make any statement in support or against Guadio, but it did reaffirm its support for “free and credible elections” in Venezuela.

Maduro bites back

Maduro furiously responded to Washington's support for Guadio stating he would break diplomatic ties with the “imperialist” US government.

He gave its diplomats 72 hours to leave.

Outside the presidential palace in Caracas, on Wedensday Maduro shouted “Get out! Leave Venezuela, here there’s dignity, damn it,” to cheering supporters.

But the State Department said it no longer recognized Maduro as president anymore, so his orders would have no impact for their diplomats.

Since Maduro took power in 2013, the country’s economy has fallen into a deep economic crisis that has left millions in poverty with shortages of basic food and medical items.

Some 2.3 million people have left the country since 2015 says the United Nations.

(with wires from AFP)

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