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    Venezuela's National Assembly head Juan Guaido waves to the crowd during a mass opposition rally against leader Nicolas Maduro in which he declared himself the country's acting president, on the anniversary of a 1958 uprising that overthrew military dictatorship, in Caracas on January 23, 2019.

    Venezuelan Senior Official Says Guaido Acknowledged Being Under US Govt Pressure

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Jorge Rodriguez, Venezuelan vice-president for communications, culture, and tourism, claimed on Sunday that Juan Guaido, who declared himself the country's interim president on Wednesday, had acknowledged that he was pressured by US politicians.

    Rodriguez said that on Tuesday Guaido had met with Venezuelan Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello and Freddy Bernal, a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, in Caracas' Hotel Lido.

    "This senor [Guaido] has confessed to Diosdado that he could not stand the pressure from the United States and that [opposition politicians] Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina [Machado] were calling him by the phone all the time to convey messages from [US Senator] Marco Rubio and [Colombian President] Ivan Duque," Rodriguez said in a statement released on the website of the government.

    Rodriguez has also provided a video featuring a man, resembling Guaido, entering the hotel.

    Guaido has denied meeting with Cabello.

    READ MORE: Last Group of US Diplomats Left Venezuela — Maduro

    However, later on Saturday, he acknowledged that he had met with Venezuelan officials, without specifying either their names or the dates of the meetings.

    "I am going to meet with all the officials in order to put an end to usurpation and hold free elections. Have I talked with officials or not? I obviously have," Guaido said at a meeting with his supporters.

    On Wednesday, Guaido, the speaker of the opposition-controlled Venezuelan National Assembly, declared himself the country's interim president just one day after the assembly declared President Nicolas Maduro, who has been ruling the country since 2013, a usurper.

    Maduro accused Washington, which immediately recognized Guaido as interim president, of staging a coup in Venezuela.

    Russia has stressed that it only recognizes Maduro as the legitimately elected Venezuelan president.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (573)

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    meeting, Juan Guaido, Ivan Duque, Nicolas Maduro, Caracas, Venezuela
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