CARACAS, December 16. /TASS/. The Venezuelan armed forces are 1,000% ready to defend the country, President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday in a speech broadcast on national television.
"The Bolivarian armed forces are 1,000% ready. We have to defend the right of our people to peace, co-existence, harmony, tolerance, social happiness," Maduro said.
The situation in Venezuela escalated after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on January 23. The Supreme Court earlier annulled Guaido's appointment as parliament speaker. The United States recognized Guaido as interim president, followed by all members of the Lima Group except Mexico, Organization of American States and most European Union countries. Maduro has decribed this as a coup attempt and announced severing diplomatic relations with Washington.