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Venezuela opposition leader Guaido takes oath as parliamentary speaker

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Venezuela opposition leader Guaido takes oath as parliamentary speaker
Copyright  Federico Parra / AFP
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Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido has taken the oath as the speaker of parliament after a standoff with security forces.

Guaido, who the US and other world leaders consider Venezuela's rightful president, was initially blocked by dozens of national guardsmen from entering.

But, after making his way in, he led fellow MPs towards their seats as they sang the Venezuelan national anthem.

He was then sworn in, holding up his right hand and pledging ``in the name of Venezuela "to continue fulfilling his responsibilities as self-declared interim president".

Guaido was also elected to the speaker of parliament post last year and then declared himself the interim president of the country, arguing the 2018 presidential election that returned Nicolás Maduro to power was rigged.

But Maduro retained the support of the military and has stayed in power.

Guaido had been expected to be re-elected as the legislature's leader on Sunday but was blocked from entering congress.

In his absence Luis Parra, a former opposition ally of Guaido's, declared himself the National Assembly's leader, claiming to have won the votes of 81 MPs. The opposition refutes that tally.

Guaido then went to a newspaper office, with 100 MPs, where he was chosen as the parliamentary speaker.