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Venezuela power struggle as Juan Guaido given travel ban

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Venezuela power struggle as Juan Guaido given travel ban
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Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido has been slapped with a travel ban and had his bank accounts frozen.

The action, imposed by Venezuela’s Supreme Court, intensifies a struggle for power in the South American republic.

Guaido declared himself interim president last week amid protests against incumbent Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro, who succeeded his mentor Hugo Chavez in 2013, has faced growing criticism after securing a second presidential term in a widely-boycotted election last year, marred by allegations of vote-rigging.

He has also overseen an economic crisis that has forced millions of Venezuelans to flee.

Congress chief Guaido is recognised as president by the US and the vast majority of South American countries. Brussels has called for the 35-year-old to be respected but has stopped short of explicitly backing him in the role.

President Maduro, who accuses congress chief Guaido of staging a US-directed coup against him, said he was grateful for Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s “support on all fronts”. China, Cuba, Bolivia and Turkey also back him.

In addition, he counts on the support of the military. Maduro’s social media timeline has been filled in recent days with pictures and videos of him with the army.

Nevertheless, Guaido has called for more protests on Wednesday and a mass march on the weekend.

The UN’s human rights office said on Tuesday that protests had so far killed at least 40 people and seen hundreds detained.

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