02:06 GMT01 November 2020
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    Caracas has accused Washington and its allies of supporting a coup plot against the Latin American country after the US moved to recognise opposition figure Juan Guaido as Venezuela's self-proclaimed 'interim president'.

    US First Lady Melania Trump has found herself on the receiving end of Twitter users' wrath over a photo op with Juan Guaido's spouse Fabiana Rosales following their private meeting at the Mar-a-Lago retreat in South Florida last week.

    In a message accompanied by a photo of the two women standing and smiling against the background of US and Venezuelan flags, Melania's official twitter account said that Rosales had "shared her passionate ideas and plans to restore democracy and to care for the children of Venezuela", adding that the US stood "with you & Pres @Jguaido."

    The tweet was quickly flooded with comments, with pro-Trump users tweeting on the women's beauty or thanking Melania for being "the best First Lady ever."

    Not everyone was taken in by the scenery, however, with some users accusing the first lady of being disingenuous with her "care for the children" message.

    Others attempted to provide Melania with a concise history lesson of the many times the US has sponsored coups or led invasions against Latin American countries in recent decades, voicing their "disappointment" with the first lady and asking her whether her defence of US policy in the region meant the she was a "monster too".

    Some users focused on the "total madness" of Melania hosting Rosales in the first place, pointing out that the media's reference to Rosales as 'first-lady-in-waiting' was absolutely absurd, given that her husband Juan Guaido was not Venezuela's democratically-elected president. One user angrily suggested Rosales had been "wined and dined by the elites who wish to run #Venezuela from their #Florida mansions".

    Venezuela's long-running political crisis escalated in late January, after Guaido, a little-known opposition leader from the semi-defunct National Assembly, proclaimed himself interim president and received immediate recognition from the US and its allies. 

    Last week, Washington warned that Moscow would "pay a price" for its military-technical assistance to the country, with Russia dismissing the threat and pointing out that Russian assistance was being provided to Venezuela "within the framework of normal relations" with its legitimate government.


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