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    Venezuelan anti-government protesters hold signs against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during a demonstration in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019

    Venezuela Working to ‘Neutralise’ US as Driving Force Behind Coup Attempt - FM

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Venezuela is seeking to contain the United States as the force driving a multinational effort to unseat the government in Caracas, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has told the RT news channel.

    "We are focused on neutralizing attacks by Washington, which will in turn neutralize attacks … by subservient governments in Latin America and in Europe," he said in an interview out Sunday night.

    Arreaza described US President Donald Trump as the man "in charge of the coup" and "running the circus" after Washington recognized Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.

    At the same time, the senior official refuted media reports suggesting that the country's president, Nicolas Maduro, had asked Moscow for military aid amid the political crisis.

    "These are just rumors," Arreaza told the RT broadcaster.

    Several regional and European governments also recognised Guaido. Four EU countries said they would recognize Guaido if Venezuelan authorities failed to call a new presidential election within eight days.

    READ MORE: Moscow Not Planning to Have Any Contacts With Venezuela's Guaido — Kremlin

    Maduro announced last week his decision to cut diplomatic ties with the United States and ordered its diplomats out. He suggested setting up interest offices in each other’s countries. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro did not have the authority to force US diplomats out. His office told Sputnik that the US embassy in Venezuela would not be closed.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (573)

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    coup attempt, RT, Juan Guaido, Jorge Arreaza, United States, Venezuela
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