Caracas, Jan 24: Venezuelan army will not accept an imposed President of the republic, the nation's defence minister said, after an opposition leader declared himself as interim President.
"Despair and intolerance threaten the peace of the Nation. The soldiers of the homeland do not accept a President imposed in the shadow of obscure interests or self-proclaimed outside the law," Vladimir Padrino Lopez tweeted before demonstrations on Wednesday.
The army will continue to defend the constitution and national sovereignty, Padrino said, hours after opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido was proclaimed interim president by the National Assembly, in a direct challenge to President Nicolas Maduro.
US President Donald Trump has also recognized the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim President of the country, marking the most significant escalation in the ongoing feud between Washington and Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.
Guaido is the President of Venezuela's National Assembly, which Maduro stripped of its power and refuses to recognize amid continued international recognition. The Bolivarian National Armed Forces, or FANB, defends the Venezuela's Constitution "and is the guarantor of national sovereignty," Lopez wrote.
Maduro has repeatedly lashed out at the US, saying Washington is waging an economic war against him and his government amid a sweeping sanctions campaign. Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition. (UNI)