BREAKING NEWS

Venezuelan military envoy defects to U.S.

CARACAS - Venezuela's top military envoy to the United States defected from the government of President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday, as the South American nation said the two countries had scaled back their diplomatic missions to skeleton staff.
The diplomatic friction and defection was triggered by U.S. recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president. Washington, Canada and most Latin American nations said Maduro's second-term election win was fraudulent.
"Today I speak to the people of Venezuela, and especially to my brothers in the armed forces of the nation, to recognize President Juan Guaido as the only legitimate president," Colonel Jose Luis Silva said in a video, speaking in an office he said was at the embassy in Washington, decorated with the Venezuelan flag.
Silva told Reuters by telephone he no longer recognized Maduro, and called for free and fair elections to be held.
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