BUENOS AIRES (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 12th January, 2019) Juan Guaido, the head of the Venezuelan opposition-led National Assembly, said he intended to use the support of the military and the international community to take over presidential power.
On Thursday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was inaugurated for his second term which will last through 2025. On Friday, Guaido said he was ready to assume presidency on an interim basis, claiming that the Venezuelan constitution allowed him to call a snap election. Meanwhile, Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), welcomed Guaido taking over presidential powers, like it was a fait accompli, and expressed his support to the opposition figure.
"It should be the Venezuelan government, the armed forces and the international community that will bring us to the mandate [for power], which we will not avoid and we will use it," Guaido said at a rally in Caracas.
The opposition figure also announced mass protests on January 23, the anniversary of the removal from power of Marcos Perez Jimenez, the late Venezuelan president who was deposed as a result of the 1958 coup.
Maduro's re-election in the May 20 vote and his subsequent inauguration have been met with criticism among Venezuela's neighbors. The Lima Group members, excluding Mexico, have refused to recognize the results of the presidential election which saw Maduro securing the second term. The OAS has said it does not recognize Maduro's powers. Meanwhile, Paraguay cut off diplomatic ties with Venezuela and the United States said it did not recognize Maduro's "illegitimate claim to power."