US sends warning to Venezuela

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US National Security Adviser John Bolton has warned Venezuela that any threats against American diplomats or opposition leader Juan Guaidó will be met with "a significant response".

Mr Bolton tweeted on Sunday that any such "intimidation" would be "a grave assault on the rule of law".

His warning comes days after the US and more than 20 other countries recognised Mr Guaidó as interim president.

They accuse President Nicolás Maduro of rigging last year's election.

President Maduro was sworn in for a second term earlier this month after an election marred by an opposition boycott and allegations of vote-rigging, triggering large protests.

The political crisis in Venezuela now appears to be reaching boiling point amid growing efforts by the opposition to unseat Mr Maduro.

Earlier on Sunday, Venezuela's top military representative to the US, Col José Luis Silva, defected from Mr Maduro's government, saying he recognised Mr Guaidó as president instead.

Later, Mr Bolton took to Twitter to reiterate Washington's position, warning others against any form of "violence and intimidation".

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