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US to open Venezuelan interim office in Colombia

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The US opens a “temporary diplomatic office” for Venezuelan affairs in the capital of Colombia, the US State Department said on Wednesday.

“The US State Department announces the opening of an office for Venezuelan affairs, it will be led by Chargé d’Affaires James Storey,” said a statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, circulated by the agency’s press service.

The new office will be located in the capital of Colombia, Bogota.

The office will serve as the “US interim mission in Venezuela” and “work to restore democracy and constitutional order in that country (for the good) of the security and well-being of Venezuelans,” the US Secretary of State said in a statement.

In Venezuela on January 21, mass protests began against President Nicolas Maduro, shortly after being sworn in. After the unrest began, opposition leader Juan Guaido illegally proclaimed himself the interim head of state.

A number of Western countries led by the United States, including Brazil, announced the recognition of Guaido. In turn, Maduro called the head of parliament a US puppet. Russia, China and several other countries supported Maduro as a legitimate president. In Moscow, they called the “presidential status” of Guaido nonexistent.

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