02:06 GMT14 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States does not believe president Nicolas Maduro has the legal authority to break Venezuela’s diplomatic ties with Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press release.

    Earlier, Maduro said Venezuela has severed diplomatic ties with the United States and ordered the expulsion of its diplomats after the Trump administration recognized the opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.

    "The United States does not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela. Accordingly the United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata," Pompeo said on Wednesday.

    READ MORE: Venezuelan Defense Minister: Armed Forces Will Defend Constitution, Sovereignty

    Pompeo also called on the Venezuelan military to protect US citizens and said the United States will take appropriate action to hold anyone accountable who endangers the safety of American personnel.


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