Venezuela to continue selling oil to US despite cutting diplomatic ties, Maduro says

Venezuela will continue to sell oil to the U.S. despite cutting off diplomatic ties with Washington, President Nicolas Maduro said Friday.

Speaking to reporters at Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Maduro said cutting diplomatic relations would not affect oil trade with the U.S.

"We have multifaceted relations with the U.S.," he said. "We've cut off the diplomatic and political ties with the U.S. government but our other relations will continue."

Maduro added, "If they want to buy potatoes, we will sell potatoes. If they want to buy oil, we will sell oil. If they do not want to buy anything, we will not sell."

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycott by the opposition.

On Wednesday, Juan Guaido, the leader of Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly, declared himself acting president.

U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Guaido as president of the country.

Maduro quickly shot back, cutting off diplomatic relations with the U.S. and giving U.S. diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.

He has repeatedly lashed out at the U.S., saying Washington is waging an economic war against him and his government amid a sweeping sanctions campaign.

Brazil and the Organization of American States recognized Guaido as Venezuela's leader before his formal announcement. Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and Paraguay have followed suit while Bolivia and Mexico continue to recognize Maduro.

Several South American countries, Russia and Turkey have also expressed solidarity with Maduro.

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