In a bid to crush the threat posed by proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro proposed on Saturday to bring forward parliamentary elections to this year.
In a speech to supporters, Maduro said the government-controlled Constituent Assembly would debate calling earlier elections for the National Assembly, which he described as "bourgeois".
The parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2020.
Guaido was proclaimed interim president on January 23 by the National Assembly as a direct challenge to Maduro's rule and quickly won the support of other countries in the region. However, he still has no control over the government's institutions or daily governance.
Earlier on Saturday, a high-ranking Venezuelan air force general publicly recognised Juan Guaido as interim president in a video circulating on social media in the biggest military defection Nicolas Maduro’s government has seen so far.