Venezuelan Crisis Deepens

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There’s mounting pressure on Venezuela’s President, Nicholas Maduro, from both inside and outside the country.

Venezuela’s Opposition Leader, Juan Guaidó, has declared himself the interim president of the troubled South American country. This as protests broke out overnight leading to the death of four people.

Mr. Guaido, who’s also head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, is receiving strong international support.

Today the United States, Canada, and several of Venezuela’s neighbors, including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia recognized him as Venezuela’s leader.

The United States has also labelled President Maduro a dictator and called on him to go.

President Maduro was sworn in for a second term on January 10 after an election in which he ran largely unopposed.

Venezuela has been in economic free-fall for years under the leadership of President Nicolas Maduro.

Hyperinflation and severe shortages of food and medicines have forced millions out of the country.

Mr Maduro was sworn-in for a second term eleven days ago. This, after an election considered to be a sham by much of the international community.

Jamaica was one of 19 countries which voted not to recognize the legitimacy of Maduro’s second term at the Organisation of American States, two weeks ago.

Rival demonstrations both for and against President Maduro broke out in Venezuela overnight. Four people were killed.

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Today, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly declared himself interim president of the South American country.

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Guaidó says he’s willing to assume the presidency on an interim basis until free and fair elections can be held.

Addressing a gathering in Caracas, Mr. Guaidó says he’ll stay on the streets until Venezuela is liberated.

US President, Donald Trump, and Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, have supported the bold move by the opposition leader.

In a statement, President Trump says the National Assembly is the only ‘legitimate branch of government’ in Venezuela. Mr. Trump urged other countries to follow the US.

International media are reporting that so far, five South American countries have done so.

For his part, the embattled President Maduro escalated the hostilities by giving all US diplomatic staff in Venezuela 72-hours to leave the country.

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The demonstrations come just two days after 27 National Guard soldiers allegedly revolted against the regime at a guard post in Caracas.

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