Maduro Breaks Relations With US: 'Get Out!'

Gives consular staff 72 hours to leave Venezuela
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2019 4:45 PM CST
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks from the balcony of Miraflores presidential palace during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

(Newser) – The US on Wednesday issued not one but three statements telling Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down and recognizing Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president Wednesday amid mass anti-Maduro protests, as the country's interim leader. Maduro quickly responded in a speech from the balcony of Venezuela's presidential palace in which he demanded all American diplomats to "Get out!" He officially broke political and diplomatic relations with the US, CNN reports, accusing it of "leading a coup attempt against us in order to install a puppet presidency that they can control in Venezuela." He gave a 72-hour deadline for consular staff to leave the country. But Guaido urged foreign embassies to ignore the order and leave diplomats in place, the AP reports. (Read more Venezuela stories.)

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