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Brazil says it recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader as president

FILE PHOTO: Juan Guaido, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly and lawmaker of the opposition party Popular Will (Voluntad Popular), speaks during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s government on Saturday issued a statement saying it recognized Venezuela’s Congressional leader, who opposes President Nicolas Maduro, as the rightful president of Venezuela.

Maduro, who started a second term as president this week, has found himself increasingly isolated as countries around the world have called his continued leadership illegitimate.

Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s opposition-led Congress, said this week he was prepared to assume the country’s presidency on an interim basis and call elections.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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