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Guaido envoy: No Venezuelan willing to die for Maduro regime

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Washington (AFP)

An envoy from Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido on Tuesday doubted the staying power of Nicolas Maduro's regime, saying no one would defend him to the death.

Gustavo Tarre -- Venezuela's new representative to the Organization of American States after the United States, Canada and a number of Latin American powers last week recognized the opposition leader as president -- said that Guaido "is not asking for a coup d'etat."

"He is only asking that the military personnel who are kidnapped by an ineffective, servile corrupt high command comply with the oath they made... to respect the constitution," he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

The United States is seeking the ouster of Maduro as the leftist firebrand presides over an economy in disarray with mounting protests and shortages of food and basic supplies.

Tarre voiced confidence that the street protests, combined with outside pressure including targeted sanctions, would force out Maduro.

"I don't think there is anybody in Venezuela who is willing to die for Maduro," Tarre said.

"In civil wars, normally there are people with strong beliefs," he said.

"In Venezuela, there are corrupt people, there are people who have sympathy to Maduro, but people who want to fight and die for Maduro, I think there is nobody -- not even Cilia, his wife."

The National Assembly, led by the opposition, tasked Tarre with a mission to coordinate with the Organization of American States for the "re-establishment of the democratic, constitutional order" in Venezuela.

The Washington-based body declared Maduro to be illegitimate earlier this month on the day he was sworn in for a second term following elections that were criticized abroad as fraudulent.

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