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Venezuelan opposition organizes rallies to continue pressure on Maduro

Venezuelan opposition supporters are holding rallies across the country on Saturday to support Juan Guido, who has declared himself president and to protest against the rule of Socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The protests are aimed at continuing pressure after Washington acknowledged Guido as a legitimate president and imposed sanctions likely to further weaken the struggling oil sector in the OPEC member country.

Maduro’s critics also hope to encourage European countries to do the same. Some EU member states are expected to formally recognize Guido this week and other countries are likely to take a more conservative supportive stance.

“We will see you in the streets tomorrow, the people of Venezuela,” Guido said in a video posted on Twitter. “We are doing a good job, doing very good work.”

Maduro will also march on Saturday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of the late communist leader Hugo Chavez in 1999.

Washington has imposed blanket sanctions on Venezuela’s National Oil Company (BDSA) in the most severe economic challenge to Maduro, which the administration of President Donald Trump is openly seeking to remove from power.

US Vice President Mike Pens said at a political rally in Florida on Friday that the time for dialogue was over and all options were on the table.

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