March 22, 2019
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Head of Venezuelan congress calls on army to oust Maduro

Caracas, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- The speaker of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly this Friday asked citizens, the military and the international community to support an ouster of the country's government, which, he said, has been usurped by President Nicolas Maduro.

Juan Guaido told 1,000 people, who had gathered in east Caracas to denounce the "illegitimacy" of Maduro, that the assembly will adhere to the Venezuelan constitution and in that regard, will assume "the duty of filling the post of presidency of the republic."

"We therefore take charge of calling on the armed forces and the international community to stand behind the activation of Articles 333, 350 and 233 for the designation of power," he said, without expressly claiming the title of president for himself.

Guaido's speech contained repeated calls to the military to support the actions of the assembly.

"To this military family that wants change, that wants it in the same way we do, we make a new call - here is the legitimate National Assembly that must assume its responsibility and is going to do so," he told the military, which on Thursday swore allegiance to Maduro two hours after his inauguration for a second term.

In addition, Guaido called "all the people into the streets" to take part on Jan. 23 - the date marking the fall of the 1948-1958 dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez - "in a great mobilization in every corner of Venezuela."

He said that won't be the only street protest, since the opposition plans to join the demonstrations led for several months by civil servants in protest against the decaying quality of life due to the economic crisis they blame on the leftist government.

Maduro was reelected last May in a balloting the opposition and several countries have called fraudulent, among other reasons because a number of government opponents were barred from taking part on various grounds, including criminal convictions.

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