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US says time for new government in Venezuela

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The Trump administration is ramping up its criticism of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and explicitly calling for the formation of a new government in the country.

The State Department says in a statement that it is now “time to begin the orderly transition to a new government.” The statement reiterated U.S. support for the head of Venezuela’s opposition-run congress who has said he’s prepared to step into the nation’s presidency temporarily to replace Maduro. It’s the latest in a barrage of U.S. criticism directed at Maduro whose inauguration to a new term as president has been widely denounced as illegitimate.

The statement was released on Saturday in Abu Dhabi where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently travelling.

Matthew Lee, The Associated Press