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    An opposition member holds a Venezuelan national flag during a protest march against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019.

    Venezuelan Defence Ministry Slams Military Attache's Move to Recognize Guaido

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (573)
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    CARACAS (Sputnik) - The Venezuelan Defence Ministry said on Sunday that Col. Jose Luis Silva, a military attache at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, has committed treason by recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as country’s interim president.

    “To surrender to international interests is an act of treason and cowardice towards the homeland inherited from our liberator Simon Bolivar, so we reject the statements of Col. Jose Luis Silva, who had served as military attache to the United States,” the ministry wrote on Twitter.

    READ MORE: Cuban President Slams Pompeo's Comment on Cuba's Role in Venezuela Crisis

    On Saturday, the Venezuelan attache told the US Spanish-language daily newspaper El Nuevo Herald that he did not recognize Nicolas Maduro as the Venezuelan president. Silva also called on the global community to recognize Guaido, who declared himself the country's interim president on Wednesday, as the "true president of Venezuela."

    The situation in Venezuela, which has been hit by mass protests since the beginning of the week, escalated on Tuesday when the opposition-controlled National Assembly declared that Maduro had usurped power. Guaido, the National Assembly speaker, has proclaimed himself interim president.

    The United States, alongside a handful of other nations, recognized Guaido as the interim president, after which Maduro accused the US of organizing a coup in Venezuela. Maduro also cut off diplomatic relations with Washington and ordered US diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours.

    Russia stressed that it only recognizes Maduro as the legitimately elected Venezuelan president, warning against any interference or intervention.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (573)

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    protests, opposition, Juan Guaido, Venezuela
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