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Mike Pence accused of ‘authorising coup’ in Venezuela

VENEZUELAN Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez has hit out at her US counterpart Mike Pence, telling him: “Yankee, go home” after he was accused of “authorising a coup” against the Bolivarian government through his support for the presidential pretensions of National Assembly speaker Juan Guaido.

After a failed coup attempt in the capital Caracas on Monday, tensions have risen, with dozens of people taking to the streets to protest against President Nicolas Maduro.

On Tuesday, Mr Guaido called on Venezuela’s people to take to the streets today in a mass show of opposition to the government. 

Meanwhile, Mr Pence declared his support for Mr Guiado’s claim to be the interim president.

The US vice-president described Mr Guaido as the “last vestige of democracy,” while labelling Mr Maduro a “dictator with no legitimate claim to power.”

Mr Guido, the self-appointed head of the suspended National Assembly, has no legitimate claim to the presidency.

The country’s Supreme Court has invalidated his appointment of himself to the National Assembly on the grounds that the body has been in contempt of court since 2016.

Mr Maduro, on the other hand, won a second term of office in last May’s elections with 67 per cent of the vote.

Venezuelan government officials responded by criticising Mr Pence, with Ms Rodriguez accusing him of “openly calling for a coup d’etat in Venezuela” and Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez saying the US vice-president was “promoting instability and violence.”

Although Mr Guaido is calling for mass protests today, he lacks popular support, his main backers being US imperialists and right-wing governments across Latin America. 

In a broadcast on state television, Mr Maduro also responded to Mr Pence’s comments, accusing him of having “hit a 200-year low in relations between the two countries by authorising a coup.”

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