Venezuelan opposition leader attacked during visit

Caracas, Venezuela –

The leader of the US-backed opposition in Venezuela was attacked Saturday during a visit to a rural community, according to members of his parallel government who have accused a group of associates of the ruling party carried out the attack.

A photo accompanying the opposition statement showed Juan Guaido being held back as people gathered around him and someone tore his shirt. The parallel government said the group, affiliated with Venezuela’s United Socialist Party, known as PSUV, “attacks and insults” Guaido, who is on tour around the South American nation seeking to unite and organize your party ahead of schedule. primary election.

In an Instagram video on Saturday night, Guaido described the attack as an “ambush” at a plant nursery in San Carlos, a community about 168 miles (270 km) west of the capital Caracas. male. But he added that it wouldn’t stop him from continuing “on the street.”

“Those who attacked today, these members or party leaders of the regime,” should take responsibility for the incident, he said.

PSUV leaders, who often issue statements on social media or state television, did not immediately respond.

Last week, Guaido’s supporters were met with a barrage of flying plastic chairs and fish dishes from allies of President Nicolas Maduro in the western city of Maracaibo.

The US and other countries recognize Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela. They withdrew recognition of Maduro after accusing him of rigging the 2018 presidential re-election.

At the time, Guaido drew a lot of supporters into the streets, but much of the momentum was gone. His popularity has dropped from about 60% three years ago to less than 15% in February.

Brian Nichols, the US assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, on Saturday condemned what he described as an “unprovoked attack” on Guaido.

“This serious attack has been life-threatening; those responsible for the attack must be brought to justice,” he said.

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