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Guaido says he would meet with Maduro officials to end usurping of presidency

The speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly and self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido (c.), at this rally on Jan. 26, 2019, tells supporters he is ready to meet with officials of the Nicolas Maduro government in order to end what he considers the usurping of the presidency by the Chavista leader. EFE-EPA/Miguel Gutierrez

The speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly and self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido (c.), at this rally on Jan. 26, 2019, tells supporters he is ready to meet with officials of the Nicolas Maduro government in order to end what he considers the usurping of the presidency by the Chavista leader. EFE-EPA/Miguel Gutierrez

EFE

The speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, said Saturday that he is ready to meet with officials of the Nicolas Maduro government in order to end what he considers the usurping of the presidency by the Chavista leader, though without confirming any such meeting had occurred.

“We’re ready to meet with all the officials, to come together to end the usurpation, establish a transition government and hold free elections,” Guaido told hundreds of people at an open town council meeting in Caracas.

Guaido would not say if he had met “or not” with specific officials, “not only civil servants...but also from other branches,” in order to keep them safe.

He said the information would be released at the right time “out of respect for the lives of the officials who are willing to accept the law of amnesty.”

On Friday, Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez showed “proof” of a supposed meeting between Guaido and the head of the Chavista National Constituent Assembly (ANC), Diosdado Cabello.

Rodriguez presented a video taken from security cameras showing a man wearing a hooded sweater and with a cap covering his face, walking in a hotel followed by attorney Roberto Marrero - linked to the opposition - and Chavista leaders Diosdado Cabello and Freddy Bernal.

According to Rodriguez, the hooded man is Guaido heading for a meeting with the Chavistas, whom he supposedly told that he was being pressured by the United States and by the leader of his party - Voluntad Popular - the imprisoned Leopoldo Lopez.

Guaido did not confirm the truth of that account, while telling the Chavistas to release “whatever you want.”

That same day, Cabello said he would reveal exactly what was discussed at that meeting if Guaido continues to deny it ever happened.

Guaido designated himself this Wednesday as interim president of Venezuela, a step the United States was the first country to accept since it considers Maduro’s reelection illegitimate.

After the US, other governments on the continent like Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile also recognized Guaido, while Mexico, Cuba and Bolivia maintained their support of Maduro, as did Russia, China and Turkey.


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