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US 'accepts' envoy designated by Venezuela’s Guaido

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U.S. President Donald Trump's administration said on Sunday it had accepted a representative from Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's representative in the United States.

U.S. administration has "accepted" on Sunday Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido's designation of Carlos Alfredo Vecchio as the charge d'Affaires to the U.S.

In a written statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "The United States accepted interim President Juan Guaido's designation of Carlos Alfredo Vecchio as the Charge d'Affaires of the Government of Venezuela to the United States on January 25."

"Mr. Vecchio will have authority over diplomatic affairs in the United States on behalf of Venezuela," he said.

"After his accreditation, Mr. Vecchio met with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, who reaffirmed the United States' strong support for interim President Guaido's leadership of Venezuela.

Pompeo added: "The United States looks forward to working with Mr. Vecchio and other diplomatic staff as designated by interim President Guaido."

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

On Wednesday, Guaido, the leader of Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly, declared himself acting president, a move immediately supported by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Maduro quickly shot back, cutting off diplomatic relations with Washington 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 prior to 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, Turkey, China, and Iran have also expressed solidarity with Maduro.

European heavyweights -- including the U.K., Germany, France and Spain -- took a similar stance against Venezuela's elected president and called on Maduro to announce fresh elections within the next eight days from Saturday to ease the current political crisis in the south American nation.

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