05:33 GMT +326 April 2019
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    Juan Guaido. File photo

    Guaido Calls for "Operation Freedom" to Topple Venezuelan President Maduro

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (456)
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    The call follows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blaming the country’s opposition leader Juan Guaido for being directly involved in a US plot to assassinate him.

    Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido has urged citizens to take part in what he described as “Operation Freedom”, which Guaido claimed would lead to the shift of power in the Latin American country. He did not elaborate on when the operation may kick off.

    “The time is ripe for Operation Freedom so as to put maximum pressure [on Venezuelan authorities] for the final cessation of usurpation, the formation of transitional government and free and fair elections. Absolutely everyone will have a role at this stage of our struggle”, Guaido wrote in an Instagram post.

    READ MORE: US and Opposition Want to Unleash an 'Oil War' to Invade Venezuela — Maduro

    He also referred to special committees which “are being set up throughout the country” and which “will be charged with promoting […] actions to stop usurpation in every district, sector, trade union, educational institution and government body”.

    Guaido made the remarks a few days after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro argued that “American imperialism” wants to kill him and that Caracas “just exposed the plan that the devil's puppet [Guaido] personally directed” to assassinate Maduro.

    “We have evidence; they could not and cannot [succeed] because we are protected by God”, Maduro said, adding that the Prosecutor's Office had made serious progress in the case, with "new terrorists" expected to be arrested “in the coming days”.

    READ MORE: Maduro Says Trump Stole $5Bln Allotted for Venezuela's Medicine Manufacturing

    Earlier, Venezuelan security forces arrested Guaido’s “chief of staff” Robert Marrero, accusing him of organising a terror cell and conspiring to hire professional killers from across Central America to murder high-ranking Venezuelan officials and carry out acts of terrorism.

    The developments come as Venezuela remains embroiled in a severe political crisis which escalated after Guaido proclaimed himself the country’s interim president, contesting the re-election of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro last year.

    Guaido immediately received support from the United States, which also denounced Maduro's re-election, along with a number of other countries. China, Cuba, Russia and a number of other states have endorsed Maduro as Venezuela's only legitimate president.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (456)

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    actions, authorities, pressure, government, opposition, Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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