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Venezuela’s Supreme Court has banned opposition leader Juan Guaidó from leaving the country and frozen his bank accounts.

The move comes amid an escalating power struggle, after Mr Guaidó declared himself interim president last week.

He has been backed by the US and other countries. President Nicolás Maduro has major allies too, including Russia.

Mr Maduro said in an interview that he was prepared to hold negotiations with the opposition.

“I am ready to sit down at the negotiating table with the opposition so that we could talk for the good of Venezuela,” he told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti in Caracas.

Mr Maduro ruled out an early presidential election – saying the next one was not due until 2025 – but said he would support early parliamentary elections as “a good form of political discussion”.

On Saturday, the European Union gave President Maduro an ultimatum to call elections within eight days, or the bloc would recognise Mr Guaido as president.

The opposition has asked supporters to take part in a two-hour peaceful protest on Wednesday. It is as yet unclear if Mr Guaidó will attend.

A group of North and South American countries has meanwhile opposed any outside military involvement in the country.




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