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Maduro accuses the vice president of the United States of ordering a "coup" in Venezuela



Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused US Vice President Mike Pence of ordering a coup against him after the official declared his support for the opposition marches on Wednesday.

"What the US government has done through Vice President Mike Pence, to give the order to execute a fascist coup (…), is unprecedented in the history of US-Venezuela relations in 200 years" Maduro has said Tuesday during a mandatory radio and television station.

The president ordered his chancellor, Jorge Arreaza, to initiate "a total revision of relations" with the United States to take decisions in the coming hours of "political and diplomatic character" in defense of Venezuela.

Maduro has already ordered this measure in July 2017, when Washington threatened to impose economic sanctions on the country.

Previously, Venezuela's communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, accused Pence of ordering "terrorists" to promote acts of violence in opposition demonstrations to destabilize the government.

According to Rodríguez, some of the 27 soldiers arrested on Monday after the uprisings against Maduro have confessed to having handed over to the opposition activists some of the stolen weapons "so that acts of violence, injuries and death could be perpetrated in the demonstration".

The minister said that these people are part of the People's Will party, which he called a "terrorist cell".

In that formation militant the leader Leopoldo Lopez, under house arrest, and the president of the majority parliament, Juan Guaidó, ready to lead a "transitional government" to replace that of Maduro.

According to Rodríguez, the plan would consist in the fact that people dressed in military uniform "would eventually disappear tomorrow at the opposition demonstration".

"For what? To meet the orders of Mike Pence," he said, pointing to the vice president, who in a video on Tuesday expressed his support for demonstrations that will require a transitional government and free elections.

The government has also invited supporters to march on Wednesday.

Monday's brief uprising warmed the mood in front of the mobilisations, the first major impulse in the streets after the violent protests that caused 125 deaths between April and July 2017.

The United States, as well as the European Union and most of the Latin American countries, are not aware of Maduro's second mandate, started on January 10th.

Caracas and Washington, with the tense relations of the late former president Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) have taken power, the ambassadors have been missing since 2010.


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