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Venezuelan armed forces refuse to recognize Guaido as interim president — defense minister

January 24, 1:46 UTC+3

Earlier on Wednesday Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president

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Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez

Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. /TASS/. Venezuela's Armed Forces refuse to recognize parliament speaker Juan Guaido as interim president, the country's Defense Minister Padrino Lopez said on Wednesday.

"Soldiers of the Motherland do not recognize the president imposed on us under the influence of foreign interests and self-proclaimed unlawfully. The Armed Forces are defending the Constitution and are guarantors of national sovereignty," Lopez wrote on his Twitter account.

Earlier on Wednesday Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president. Several countries recognized him as interim president, including Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Canada, Columbia Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Chile and Ecuador.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called it a coup organized by Washington and announced severing diplomatic relations with the United States.

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