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6 Dec, 2021 01:04

Key leader quits Venezuela’s US-backed ‘interim government’

Key leader quits Venezuela’s US-backed ‘interim government’

Julio Borges is quitting his post as foreign minister of Venezuela’s US-backed “interim government”, saying it has turned into a “caste” and is failing to serve its purpose of removing Nicolas Maduro from power.

Borges told reporters on Sunday that he would submit his resignation in a legislative session on Tuesday. He added that the interim government should “disappear” when its legal mandate expires in January, unless it adopts his proposed changes to its founding 2019 decree.

“It has been deformed,” Borges said of the US-backed interim government led by Juan Guaido. “Instead of being an instrument to fight the dictatorship, the interim government has become a kind of ... caste.”

Borges made his comments from Colombia, where he is currently living in exile after being accused of being part of a plot to assassinate Maduro. His exit marks another major blow to the opposition, which was routed in regional elections last month. Maduro’s ruling party won 20 out of 23 governorships.

Guaido declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January 2019. The US and dozens of other countries recognize him and his opposition group as Venezuela’s legitimate government, but the EU withdrew its support last January. The UN acknowledges Maduro as Venezuela’s duly elected president.

Borges said the interim government should cease to operate, except for managing state-owned assets that are frozen overseas, such as refiner Citgo Petroleum in the US. The opposition has reportedly been plagued by infighting.

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