Opposition leader Juan Guaidó self-proclaimed himself as Venezuela’s interim president in an open challenge to the second mandate of incumbent president Nicolás Maduro.  

Mr Guaidó, the speaker of the National Assembly, accused Mr Maduro of rigging the presidential elections he won by a large majority in May 2018, and labelled as non-legitimate his second tenure at the head of the country. He declared to be “formally assuming the responsibility of the national executive” before a cheering crowd in Caracas on January 23.

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US president Donald Trump, a long-time critic of Mr Maduro’s presidency, officially recognised Mr Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela right away, as did Canada, prompting countries from all over the world to follow suit. Others, led by Russia, have reiterated their support for Mr Maduro, who is now facing growing pressure to call new elections.