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Over 2 million signatures collected in Venezuela against US interference — Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier severed diplomatic relations with the United States

CARACAS, February 8. /TASS/. About two million Venezuelans have put their signatures under a petition against US interference, President Nicolas Maduro told reporters on Friday.

"About two million signatures against US interference have been collected," he said, noting the certain interest groups were stirring up tensions around the situation in the country.

On January 23, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido, whose appointment as parliamentary speaker had been annulled by the Supreme Court two days before that, declared himself as interim president. On the same day, the United States recognized him as acting head of state. So did the Lima Group countries (excluding Mexico), the Organization of American States, and a number of other countries. Current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro slammed the developments as an attempted coup and severed diplomatic ties with the US.

Some European countries gave an ultimatum to Maduro, urging him to call an early presidential election within eight days, and after the deadline had expired, they recognized Guaido as interim president.

Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey stood up for Maduro’s support. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.