January 24, 2019 / 3:47 PM / 10 months ago

Venezuela defense minister says Maduro is 'legitimate president'

Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez holds a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said on Thursday that Nicolas Maduro was the country’s “legitimate president” and that the opposition was carrying out a coup after Juan Guaido, the leader of congress, declared himself president.

Padrino said the United States and other governments were carrying out an economic war against Venezuela, an OPEC nation with the world’s largest crude reserves.

Reporting by Caracas newsroom; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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