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US warns Venezuela on diplomat threats

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The US has warned Venezuela that any threats against American diplomats or opposition leader Juan Guaidó will be met with “a significant response”.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said any such “intimidation” would be “a grave assault on the rule of law”.

His warning comes days after the US and more than 20 other countries recognised Mr Guaidó as interim president.

Meanwhile, Mr Guaidó has called for anti-government protests on Wednesday and Saturday.

Mr Guaidó, the elected leader of the opposition-held National Assembly, declared himself the interim president on 23 January.

The political crisis in Venezuela now appears to be reaching boiling point amid growing efforts by the opposition to unseat President Nicolás Maduro.

He was sworn in for a second term earlier this month after an election marred by an opposition boycott and allegations of vote-rigging, triggering large protests.

On Sunday, Venezuela’s top military representative to the US, Col José Luis Silva, defected from Mr Maduro’s government, saying he recognised Mr Guaidó as president instead.

Later, Mr Bolton took to Twitter to reiterate Washington’s position, warning others against any form of “violence and intimidation”.

SourceBBC NEWS

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