'Puppet': Maduro Claims National Assembly President 'Created by US Intelligence'

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MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has claimed that Juan Guaido, the new president of the country's opposition-controlled National Assembly, is a US agent.

"He is a puppet, an American agent, created by… the US intelligence agencies, it is them who control him", Maduro told Venezuela's state television.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, speaks during the annual state-of-the-nation address at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The National Assembly has had an opposition majority since January 2016. The Constituent Assembly, which is made up of Maduro loyalists, was elected in July 2017 and has been tasked with rewriting Venezuela's Constitution.

Guaido assumed the presidency of the National Assembly last week.

Current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will be sworn in for a second six-year term on 10 January before the country's Supreme Court and not before the National Assembly.

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Maduro won the 20 May 2018 elections, which have been widely condemned as illegitimate. At a meeting in Peru on Friday, the Lima Group of Latin American countries plus Canada denounced Maduro's second term.

Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas - Sputnik International
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Maduro has also accused US National Security Adviser John Bolton of plotting a coup with the help of Colombia, whose president Ivan Duque, Maduro claimed, was part of the plan.

In December, Maduro said he had instructed the country's Armed Forces to maintain the highest level of combat readiness to defeat "imperialistic plots".

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