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VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER GUAIDO GET 15 YEARS BARN

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Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó will be barred from holding further public office for 15 years, the maximum allowed by law, the state financial controller has announced.

Comptroller Elvis Amoroso said Mr Guaidó’s personal financial statements contained inconsistencies.

Mr Guaidó, head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself interim president in January.

He has the support of more than 50 countries, including the US.

The BBC’s Will Grant in the Venezuelan capital Caracas says the decision to stop Mr Guaidó from holding office would come into force if he decided to put himself up for re-election at the end of his current term in the National Assembly.

Mr Guaidó rejected Mr Amoroso’s announcement, saying that he was “not auditor general”. “The legitimate congress is the only one with power to designate an auditor general,” he said.

 

Last week, Mr Guaidó’s chief of staff Roberto Marrero, 49, was accused of planning “acts of sabotage” against officials after being arrested.

Venezuela’s Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said that “weapons and foreign currency” were found by intelligence services during a raid on his home.

Mr Guaidó said the security forces had committed an “illegal and unconstitutional” act, adding that he believed the items allegedly found at Mr Marrero’s home had been planted there.

With the backing of the Trump administration, Mr Guaidó has been leading calls for Mr Maduro to stand down as president as discontent with his socialist regime grows.

Mr Marrero’s arrest has provoked international condemnation, with the US, the European Union and Latin American nations all demanding his immediate release.

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