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Report: Venezuela's opposition leader reclaims power as national assembly head

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Report: Venezuela's opposition leader reclaims power as national assembly head

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó was sworn in Jan. 7 as head of the country's legislature for a second term after forcing his way past security forces loyal to President Nicolás Maduro, The Guardian reported.

Guaidó and his opposition allies forcefully entered the national assembly building while Maduro's troops hurled tear gas at them, according to the report. A day earlier, Venezuela's National Guard prevented Guaidó and his supporters from entering the assembly compound, allowing his rival Luis Parra to declare himself president of the legislature with backing of pro-Maduro lawmakers.

Guaidó was elected head of congress in 2019 and declared himself the country's interim president after the 2018 presidential election — in which Maduro claimed victory — was condemned as fraudulent by the international community. More than 50 countries including the U.S., the U.K. and Brazil had recognized Guaidó as head of state, according to The Guardian.

Maduro attempted to take over congress Jan. 5 and recognized Parra as head of the legislature, triggering international criticism. Guaidó's allies later congregated at the office of a local newspaper and reelected him as national assembly president.