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Venezuela cuts off U.S. relations after Trump backs Guaido

Maduro broke relations with the U.S. and gave diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave

Jan 24

11:52
2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday he was breaking diplomatic relations with the United States, after the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country’s interim president.

Speaking to supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, socialist leader Maduro said he would give U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela, which is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

In a televised broadcast from the presidential palace, Maduro accused the opposition of seeking to stage a coup with the support of the United States, which he said was seeking to govern Venezuela from Washington.

"We've had enough interventionism, here we have dignity, damn it! Here is a people willing to defend this land," said Maduro.

Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said via Twitter on Wednesday that the country’s armed forces disavow any president who is self-proclaimed or imposed by “dark interests.”

That came hours after opposition leader Juan Guaido swore himself in as president in a challenge to President Nicolas Maduro.